Four Things We Learned From The National League Weekend

1 year ago By David Richardson

As the dust settles on another weekend of Vanarama National League action, we've picked the bones out of Saturday's matches.

Dover keep grinding out results
Chris Kinnear's side made it nine unbeaten with a 2-0 win over Eastleigh at Crabble to move one point clear at the top of the National League. It has been a remarkable start for the Whites, who had to rebuild almost their entire squad in the summer ahead of their fourth season in the division.

First team coach Mark Newson said after Saturday's victory that they weren't getting carried away with their surprise form but also added how professional their performance was against Eastleigh - a sign they are adjusting to life at the top. There was further good news for Kinnear as Tranmere striker James Alabi scored his first goal for Dover since joining on loan last month.

Bromley, Maidstone, Sutton: The Rise Of The 3G
These three clubs play their home games on 3G pitches and occupy play-off spots but on Saturday they all won away to keep their fine form going. Bromley finally saw-off Guiseley, who were reduced to ten men in just the second minute when Ash Palmer was shown red, after having two penalties saved by the home side's Jonny Maxted. Iffy Allen struck in the 93rd minute to move Neil Smith's men up to sixth.

Maidstone made it three consecutive National League wins thanks to Joe Pigott's first-half goal. It was the former Southend United loanee's eighth goal of the campaign. The Stones are in fifth with Sutton just above them. The U's battled to a 2-0 win at Solihull Moors with goals coming from Anthony Jeffrey and Craig Dundas. That result extended Sutton's unbeaten run to eight games.

Salford mean business
After the disappointment of losing in the National League North play-off semi-finals last season, there's been no sign of a hangover at Salford. The Ammies made it five league wins in a row on Saturday, fighting back from a goal down at Tamworth to win 2-1. Mike Phenix netted the telling blow in the second half to move Salford seven points clear at the top. Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson's side are looking hard to stop at this early stage.

Braintree making moves for an instant return
Like Salford, Braintree are not letting last season's woes effect them. The Iron suffered relegation from the National League in April but now lead the National League South by three points. Bradley Quinton's youthful side appear to be going from strength to strength after winning 3-0 at Poole Town on the weekend. Braintree are the highest scorers in the division and have bagged 16 goals in their last six games, of which they've won four.

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Where next?

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Home Draw Is Something To Build On: Boss Billy A timid goalless draw at home when you really need a win to liven up your season usually won’t get a manager off of his feet.

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