Something For The Weekend: National League North

11 months ago By Steve Whitney

With cup fixtures over for the majority of clubs in the Vanarama National League North for this season, the focus of attention falls firmly on promotion and relegation, with most clubs having 14 or 15 games to go.

There are a number of important fixtures this weekend as clubs at the bottom start to worry and those at the top start to sweat.

So which three games are the ones to really keep your eye on? That's where we come in...

Leamington v Harrogate Town

The Phillips 66 Community Stadium hosts a game of crucial significance at either end of the table.

The Brakes go into the match sitting just a couple of points above the drop zone, while the Yorkshire visitors need to win to maintain their challenge for the title and automatic promotion.

Turning full-time last summer was ambitious, but it certainly seems to have worked for Simon Weaver's Harrogate outfit, who will be keen to get the disappointment of bowing out of the Buildbase FA Trophy at Bostik Premier side Billericay Town on Tuesday out of their system quickly.

It's a case of one step forward and two back for Leamington in recent weeks as the boost of a 3-0 win against fellow strugglers Gainsborough Trinity was followed by a defeat to another side in trouble, Darlington, and a draw against virtually-doomed North Ferriby United.

York City v Salford City

Salford head to Bootham Crescent looking to maintain the five-point advantage they currently hold over Harrogate.

York's excellent start to the New Year has stuttered a bit of late, with a defeat at Stockport County and last weekend's 1-1 draw with now managerless Tamworth.

The Ammies have yet to play this month, so will be desperate to make up for their 2-1 defeat at Brackley Town last time out on January 27th.

Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley know that one result either way between them and Harrogate at the moment will make a massive difference to the outcome of the title.

Gainsborough Trinity v Southport

Gainsborough welcome Southport to the Martin & Co Arena without a manager after sacking Dave Frecklington earlier this week.

They have acted with the club hovering just a point above the drop zone and in the hope that a new man at the helm now will have a similar effect that Craig Elliott has had at neighbouring Boston United, Tom Greaves has had at FC United of Manchester and Chris Moyses at Alfreton Town – all of whom have turned around their respective club's fortunes.

Trinity are reeling from a 5-0 hammering at Bradford Park Avenue on Monday and whoever takes over has a big task on his hands.

No doubt Southport were also hoping that appointing high-profile Kevin Davies as manager in October would lead to a change in fortunes for the better. And whilst initial results did show a slight improvement, it's been a mixed bag since and successive home wins against Leamington and Stockport were followed by a 3-0 defeat at Aggborough against Kidderminster Harriers last time out.

Their away form had been the most concerning thing for the former Bolton favourite, and since opening up with three away wins from their first five games of the season, Port haven't won any since.

National League North fixtures:

FC United of Manchester v Chorley (Friday, 7.45pm)

AFC Telford United v North Ferriby United
Alfreton Town v Tamworth
Blyth Spartans v Brackley Town
Boston United v Curzon Ashton
Bradford Park Avenue v Darlington
Gainsborough Trinity v Southport
Leamington v Harrogate Town
Spennymoor Town v Kidderminster Harriers
Stockport County v Nuneaton Town
York City v Salford City

Where next?

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