Something For The Weekend: Vanarama National League

4 days ago By Steven Coney

The FA Cup is out of the spotlight for the time being meaning we have a full programme of Vanarama National League action on Saturday.

Here we pick out three games of particular interest that will have big ramifications for the top and bottom of the league table.

Chester v Solihull Moors
Is it too early to bring out the ‘six-pointer’ cliche? We think not! Whichever way you look at this game, it’s massive. Chester have shown signs of improvement since Marcus Bignot took charge in September and they’ll be looking to bounce back from the disappointing 4-0 home defeat to Dagenham & Redbridge two weeks ago.

The Blues have brought in young Crewe striker Daniel Udoh, who has impressed at lower league Halesowen this season, on loan before the game as goals have been a problem. A Chester win could take them out of the relegation zone and that's some incentive.

Bignot, now in charge at the Deva Stadium, of course had a fantastic five-year spell as manager of their opponents on Saturday, Solihull Moors. Bignot transformed the club and led them to the National League North title before leaving for Grimsby.

A defeat to their former hero would be a double blow for the Moors but they will be confident following last Saturday’s huge win over Leyton Orient. Solihull have tightened up at the back since Mark Yates' arrival but goals are still an issue. A defeat in Cheshire would undoubtedly be a big opportunity missed.

Leyton Orient v Sutton United
New Orient boss Justin Edinburgh seems confident his side will climb away from trouble but he will need no reminding that results will have to improve drastically, and fast.

Last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at bottom club Solihull Moors was not the start Edinburgh would have wanted. It’s now 15 National League games without a win - a run that cost Steve Davis his job. They don’t come much tougher than Sutton United at the moment but a victory for the O’s could be just the tonic ahead of a tricky trip to Haringey Borough in the FA Trophy.

If Orient have hugely underachieved then Sutton have certainly overachieved so far this season. Riding high atop the league table, Paul Doswell’s side saw off Eastleigh 2-0 last Saturday at Gander Green Lane.

Four wins in their last six games makes them the form team in the National League. Their nearest rivals Wrexham and Macclesfield face each other so this could be a rare chance for the U’s to create breathing room with victory at Brisbane Road.

Macclesfield Town v Wrexham
The aforementioned Macclesfield and Wrexham battle is arguably the pick of the games this weekend and could prove to have a big say on the rest of the National League campaign.

The Silkmen’s late double salvo at Hartlepool secured another victory on Saturday and they sit just a point behind Wrexham and leaders Sutton United. Their recent form hasn’t been fantastic so three points against their promotion rivals could be the start of another impressive run.

The Dragons’ great campaign so far has been built on an extremely stingy defence with just 14 goals conceded in 23 league fixtures. They’ve won four of their last five games and each of those victories also included a clean sheet.

They bounced back from their recent defeat at Aldershot by seeing off Maidenhead United last Saturday. Would boss Dean Keates take a 1-0 win at the Moss Rose? You bet! The game is being broadcast live on BT Sport with coverage starting at midday on Saturday.

For more news, reaction and action from across the National League, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

Where next?

Snow Hits The Day’s National League Programme It has been a difficult morning for clubs, players and fans with a number of matches falling as we count the cost of the poor conditions.
Something For The Weekend: National League South The build-up to the weekend’s action starts here - and we’re whetting the appetite for another interesting National League South afternoon.