Peaks And Waldock Are The North's January Big Winners

By Sam Elliott

It’s time to meet the really strong starters to 2024 in the Vanarama National League North.

They do say often how you return from the festive period defines what happens next and there were some stand out performances as teams started the New Year like they mean to carry on.

There’s no doubt about the team of the season so far - and now Tamworth want to finish the job in these final three months.

Andy Peaks knows if his talented team can carry on ticking off the games, then there will be no stopping them - and that’s because of what happened in the final few hours of January.

Ending the month with three points at title rivals Scunthorpe United, they sent out a very clear message after racing 12 point clear.

Tamworth, promoted in May from the Southern League, continued their unlikely charge at back-to-back automatic promotions after five wins from six. They did it without letting in a single goal – and ended January having not conceded in 689 minutes!

Defeating Buxton, Warrington, Darlington, Spennymoor and of course Scunthorpe, they only didn’t defeat Boston United, who grabbed a plucky point.

Their form of course landed Peaks, 53, the Manager of the Month award, but it wasn’t quite as straight-forward a selection for the Player accolade.

That’s because so many enjoyed impressive months - especially in front of goal - but ultimately the panel settled on Alfreton Town sharp-shooter Liam Waldock.

The 23-year-old, who operates both in midfield and up top, scored in all-but one of the club’s six games in January and chipped in with two assists to boot. Without his goals involvements in January, Alfreton would be eight points worse off, which would have them down in mid-table.

He scored against Buxton, Chorley, Warrington, Southport and Peterborough Sports to more than double his tally for the season inside four weeks.

Playing every minute of every game, manager Billy Heath says he is becoming more important as the campaign rumbles on, and he’s not wrong!

Where next?

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