Title Run-In: What Lies Ahead For All The Contenders?

By Tom Scott

44 Days! That's all there is left of the National League season and until we crown our 2019 Champions.

With nine games to go (eight for Wrexham), we're charting the fixture run-ins of the top six sides before the big day on Saturday April 27.

After knocking Wrexham off their perch, Leyton Orient are now in the driving seat - but will they be there until the end?

Leyton Orient (73 points)

AFC Fylde (H)
Barnet (A)
Bromley (A)
FC Halifax Town (H)
Eastleigh (H)
Sutton United (A)
Harrogate Town (H)
Solihull Moors (A)
Braintree Town (H)

Orient's biggest issue could be fixture congestion, owing to their FA Trophy progress. Justin Edinburgh's men face a two-week league lay-off before hosting fellow title runners AFC Fylde, followed by away trips to Barnet and Bromley.

FC Halifax and Eastleigh come to town for a home double-header before a short trip to Sutton United. Then comes what could prove to be two crucial games. First, Harrogate Town visit Brisbane Road before the O's head for a showdown at Solihull Moors. Braintree Town are last up at home.

Solihull Moors (70 points)

Braintree Town (H)
FC Halifax Town (A)
Boreham Wood (A)
Dover Athletic (H)
Hartlepool United (A)
Havant & Waterlooville (H)
Bromley (A)
Leyton Orient (H)
Dagenham & Redbridge (A)

If you had tipped Solihull Moors to be second in March last summer, you'd have probably been laughed out of the stadium! Just nine games stand in the way of the unthinkable.

Braintree Town are next up at the ATG Stadium for Flowers' men before trips to Halifax and Boreham Wood. Strugglers Dover will be ensuring the Moors don't enjoy their seaside jaunt. Next stop, County Durham to face Hartlepool United before welcoming Havant and Waterlooville to their place. A huge, potentially deciding clash with Leyton Orient takes place in the middle of outings to Dagenham and Bromley.

Wrexham (69 points)

Maidstone United (H)
Hartlepool United (A)
Ebbsfleet United (A)
Braintree Town (H)
Barnet (A)
Sutton United (H)
FC Halifax Town (A)
Harrogate Town (H)

After his revival hit the buffers, Bryan Hughes has called for a reaction from his Wrexham side.

Strugglers Maidstone United are the first in the Dragons' firing line before back-to-back awaydays to Ebbsfleet and Hartlepool. The Racecourse then plays host to Braintree and Sutton, either side of a journey to Barnet.

There's a Yorkshire feel to their final two games with a trip to Halifax Town before Simon Weaver brings his Harrogate Town side all the way from North Yorkshire to North Wales for a final day ding-dong.

AFC Fylde (67 points)

Leyton Orient (A)
Aldershot (A)
Dagenham & Redbridge (H)
Eastleigh (H)
Gateshead (A)
Braintree Town (A)
Barnet (H)
Salford City (A)
FC Halifax Town (H)

Another side facing a fixture pile-up, Dave Challinor's Coasters will need every drop of Danny Rowe's firepower for their final nine.

When the FA Trophy is out of the way, a difficult jaunt to Leyton Orient will be the next test, followed quickly by a visit to Aldershot. Back-to-back home ties with Dagenham & Redbridge and Eastleigh could provide them with some extra fan power.

Three more away days at Gateshead, Braintree and finally, Salford City are in order. In between all the travelling, Barnet and Halifax head to the coast.

Salford City (66 points)

Aldershot (A)
Barnet (H)
Harrogate Town (A)
Bromley (H)
Maidstone United (A)
Maidenhead United (H)
Boreham Wood (A)
AFC Fylde (H)
Hartlepool United (A)

Many people’s tip for the title at the beginning of the season, Graham Alexander’s men haven’t had it all their own way.

But after toppling Solihull Moors, their third win on the spin, the Ammies head to Aldershot in great form. The Shots are the first of five bottom half sides that Salford face in their run-in.

Barnet, Maidstone, Maidenhead and Boreham Wood will all be on the block as Salford look to make up some ground on the leaders. Bromley make the journey to the Peninsula Stadium before free-scoring Fylde are in town on the penultimate day of the campaign.

Eastleigh (64 points)

Barrow AFC (H)
Hartlepool United (H)
Barnet (H)
AFC Fylde (A)
Leyton Orient (A)
Gateshead (H)
Dagenham & Redbridge (A)
Maidenhead United (H)
Boreham Wood (A)

The Spitfires are flying and when Paul McCallum is on top form, you simply can't count them out of the title reckoning.

Ben Strevens has got his side well drilled and they've looked formidable so far in 2019. They're presented with a glorious chance to make the most of home advantage - Barrow, Hartlepool and Barnet all come to the Silverlake back-to-back.

Season-defining trips to Leyton Orient and AFC Fylde follow before they host inform Gateshead. Then they're on their travels to the capital for games with Boreham Wood and Dagenham & Redbridge. That's either side a home clash with Maidenhead in Hampshire.

Photo Credit: Tom King

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