Something For The Weekend: Vanarama National League

4 months ago By Steven Coney

Valentine’s Day is now out of the way and you can be sure that there will no love lost this weekend in the Vanarama National League!

We’ve got plenty of big games lined up including our top four going up against each other in what is shaping up to be a huge round of matches.

Which four fixtures should you really be keeping your eye on this Saturday? That’s where we come in…

Aldershot Town v Macclesfield Town

Second-place welcome the leaders at the EBB Stadium with the victors guaranteed to end the weekend top of the table.

The Shots have won four of their last five and all four of those victories have come on the road. Difficult trips to Dover, Leyton Orient and, most recently Dagenham, have been successfully navigated by Gary Waddock’s side. Confidence must be sky high in Hampshire - can they continue their great run?

Things haven’t been quite as plain sailing for Macclesfield. The leaders drew at home against strugglers Solihull Moors and Torquay as well as losing 6-0 at AFC Fylde. They picked up a vital win last Saturday against Guiseley but they know they’ll have to be back to their best against Aldershot and then on Tuesday at Tranmere.

Sutton United v Wrexham

If the first game wasn’t quite enough to whet your appetite, how about third visiting fourth?

Sutton United came back from a goal down to draw at Barrow on Tuesday night - not a bad result considering the Bluebirds’ results against their fellow high-flyers. Tommy Wright continued his fantastic form and will be hoping to continue that against a very good Wrexham defence - can they break them down?

Dean Keates admitted his side were “complacent” last Saturday against FC Halifax Town. A home draw against a managerless club was far from ideal for the Dragons but they now need to move on from that. Their away form hasn’t been fantastic this season and a win at Gander Green Lane would be huge.

Torquay United v Dagenham & Redbridge

An interesting match-up in Devon as resurgent Torquay welcome a Dagenham side desperate to halt their slide.

Back-to-back wins for the Gulls has given them hope of completing yet another National League great escape. They’re still five points adrift of safety, though, so more positive results will be needed. This is one boss Gary Owers will be targeting three points from.

Dagenham visit Plainmoor on the back of four straight defeats. John Still is an experienced manager and will no doubt have his players up for Saturday’s game. The Daggers need to get back to winning ways and quickly if they still have real hopes of making it into the play-offs.

Tranmere Rovers v Bromley

The team with the best home record in the division take on a Bromley side hoping to gatecrash the play-off places.

Tranmere have won 11 of their 16 games at Prenton Park including eight League victories in a row. Rovers were disappointed not to win at Leyton Orient last weekend but a win on Saturday could push Micky Mellon’s side up to second. This is the sort of game they need to win if they want to finish top of the pile.

Bromley will be no pushovers, however. The Ravens have scored 21 times in their last six matches in all competitions and will pose plenty of problems. They’re just a point off the top seven at the moment and a result at Prenton Park would be a huge boost for Neil Smith and his players.

National League Fixtures - Saturday, February 17th

AFC Fylde v Leyton Orient
Aldershot Town v Macclesfield Town
Boreham Wood v Gateshead
Chester v Eastleigh
FC Halifax Town v Ebbsfleet United
Guiseley v Maidenhead United
Hartlepool United v Woking
Maidstone United v Barrow
Solihull Moors v Dover Athletic
Sutton United v Wrexham
Torquay United v Dagenham & Redbridge
Tranmere Rovers v Bromley

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