Big Games At The Bottom As North & South Gap Widens

By Sam Elliott

The leaders in both the Vanarama National League North and South boast a huge advantage - and the wind has to change direction in February if they’re to be blown off the title course.

Tamworth are 12 points ahead after Tuesday’s critical 1-0 win at second place Scunthorpe but Andy Peakes knows nothing is won yet.

They’re on the road again this weekend and if his team can safely negotiate a trip to Alfreton Town, even the manager may start talking up their chances. The Lambs have won their last five away from home and have not let in a goal in their last 540 minutes of football.

It’s now about keeping the Iron at arm’s length. Jimmy Dean needs a reaction from his players when Rushall Olympic come to Glanford Park.

As big as Tuesday’s game was, for Glouceser and King’s Lynn Town, their meeting this weekend carries similar weight. They both sit just inside the bottom four and a win changes everything.

Staying at the wrong end, it seemed a lifetime ago that Jim Bentley had transformed Southport’s season.

They are now just one place above the top door again and travel to Boston United, who know this is a chance to close the four-team gap between themselves and the top seven.

Elsewhere, Kevin Wilson takes charge of Banbury for the first time when they head to Chester, Warrington Town host Chorley while South Shields can prove they’re over their mid-season meltdown by winning at Scarborough - and possibly re-claiming a play-off place.

The National League South’s chasing pack have even more work to do.

Yeovil Town are 13 points ahead and have a game in hand so a solid February could start their title countdown. They’re at FA Cup heroes Maidstone United, who were once at the top of the table with them.

The Glovers may be a little concerned by Chelmsford City’s form in the past few months, even if they did chuck away two points at home to Welling last time out.

The Clarets of course need the table toppers to start losing but if they beat Havant & Waterlooville, Mark Cooper’s men will have something to think about. Worthing, in second, have a tough assignment at Aveley.

There’s a huge game at the bottom as the two teams either side of the relegation zone cross swords. Rod Stringer already has Welling United moving in the right direction and Taunton are certainly on the decline.

The Peacocks have won only once since September and the gap will close to just a point if they leave Park View Road defeated.

Hampton & RB have lost their last three as their brilliant undefeated stretch unraveled. Can they get back to winning ways against Truro City?

There’s a big play-off battle as Torquay United, who sit seventh, welcome St Albans City who are just on the other side of the dotted line. The yellow war could go a long way to deciding what happens.

Elsewhere, Dover Athletic look to build on a better few weeks at Braintree, Eastbourne Borough are also hoping to close the gap with three points at Bath City while Hemel Hempstead Town take their top seven bid to Weymouth.

For all Saturday’s fixtures, click here.

Where next?

FA Cup Boost For Maidstone As Fifth Round TV Picks Made Maidstone United are set for a boost after their FA Cup fifth round tie was selected for TV coverage.
A Big Name Striker Returns As Deadline Day Heats Up An all-time Vanarama National League great returned on Deadline Day as our clubs get set for the run in.

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Vanarama National League North
Vanarama National League South

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