Ones To Watch: The Three Big Vanarama National League North Games This Weekend

1 week ago By Steve Whitney

There is an intriguing fixture list in the Vanarama National League North on Saturday, and we have selected three as ones to keep an eye on.

Boston United vs Stockport County
Boston will begin interviewing candidates for their vacant manager’s job next week. To date, caretaker boss Karl Hawley has not applied, but if he can guide the Pilgrims to a second successive Saturday win, following last weekend`s vital 2-0 success at Leamington, then his case will be hard to ignore. That win at the New Windmill Ground was Boston`s first in the league since September 5th when they beat struggling North Ferriby United 2-1 at the Jakemans Stadium.

Looking for an away win on Saturday are inconsistent Stockport County, whose last five games show how frustrated manager Jim Gannon must be as his side drew at Darlington, lost at home to another north-east side Blyth Spartans, beat Nuneaton Town away, lost at Edgeley Park to Kidderminster Harriers and then inflicted a 4-1 bashing on neighbours FC United of Manchester at home last time out.

Spennymoor Town vs Harrogate Town
The Brewery Field hosts arguably the game of the day at the top end of the table as fourth-placed Spennymoor Town take on second-placed Harrogate Town. The Moors started life in the National league North with three straight wins and tackle promotion-favourites and full-timers Harrogate on the back of two successive 1-0 wins at home to Chorley and at Nuneaton.

Striker Glen Taylor, who attended the Jamie Vardy V9 Academy, is the Moors` current top scorer and netted his 10th goal of the season as Spennymoor claimed all three points in a smash and grab victory at Nuneaton last time out.

Simon Weaver`s Harrogate side are, at present, showing how valuable turning full-time can be, although he would have been very disappointed to have bowed out of the Emirates FA Cup to lowly league rivals Gainsborough Trinity last month. But they have maintained their league form and head to the north-east on a run of seven games without defeat.

Several players have benefitted from the extra fitness, especially Joe Leesley, who is the leading marksman with 9 goals alongside defender/turned forward Simon Ainge, who has also notched 9 times to date.

North Ferrriby United vs Bradford Park Avenue
North Ferriby are in serious danger of suffering back-to-back relegations after dropping out of the National League at the end of last season. Having lost manager Billy Heath and then several of their senior players in the summer, Steve Housham has had a tough task re-building the Villagers.

A dreadful start when they were still suffering a relegation hangover saw Ferriby lose their opening four matches, meaning they were playing catch-up from the start. And they have suffered from morale-sapping defeats since then, including a 6-0 walloping at home by Spennymoor in September.Last Saturday saw Housham`s side pick up a point from a 2-2 draw at Southport to halt two successive defeats.

Their visitors to the EON Visual Media Stadium are Bradford Park Avenue, who are enjoying a much better campaign to date than in 2016/17. Former Guiseley AFC boss Mark Bower kept them up by the skin of their teeth last season but has built on that and striker Adam Boyes, who followed him from Nethermoor, has been a particularly shrewd recruit, notching 9 goals to date.

And they head to Humberside in better form, having enjoyed a good 4-1 home win over Blyth Spartans last weekend and they are currently 10th in the table, just a couple of points off a top seven spot. However, before that win over Spartans, Avenue had gone seven games without a win, which will encourage Ferriby, who desperately need the points to narrow a gap at the bottom which is already 8 points from the safety-mark.


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