Vanarama Make Their Team Of The Weekend Picks!

By Sam Elliott

There was a Vanarama National League first for 2024 on Matchday 33 as leaders Chesterfield dropped points by draw 2-2 with managerless Ebbsfleet United.

Elsewhere, it was seventh heaven for Dagenham & Redbridge who treated their supporters to a resounding 7-1 win over Oxford City.

At the opposite end of the table, AFC Fylde moved clear of the drop zone with a 2-1 win at Eastleigh.

Each week, title sponsors Vanarama provide their Team of the Week for the three divisions and use this column to justify their selections...

Vanarama National League

For the second week in a row, we start with Boreham Wood goalkeeper Nathan Ashmore. The 33-year-old faced more shots (6) and made more saves (6) than any other National League keeper as the Wood secured an invaluable 1-0 win over old side Maidenhead United.

It’s three successive wins for AFC Fylde who are unbeaten in six National League fixtures after Saturday’s win at Eastleigh.

All-action right-back Connor Barrett won more attacking duels (6) than anyone else in his position and attempted the second-most (10) too. Three key passes were also the most by a right-back on Matchday 33 and one of those provided the assist for Nick Haughton’s winner.

Few teams win at Roots Hall but, after Saturday, York City can add their name to the list thanks in no small part to Callum Howe.

His eight interceptions were enough to rank fourth among all National League centre-backs while also winning 11/18 aerial duels in a 1-0 win.

Next to him, Ebbsfleet United stopper Myles Kenlock helped his side halt runaway leaders Chesterfield.

The only centre-back who attempted more defensive duels than Kenlock’s 12 on Matchday 33 was Boreham Wood’s Femi Ilesanmi (15). He also contributed offensively with a league-leading five progressive runs.

Jake Cooper committed his future to Altrincham on Friday and rounded off a memorable week with a 3-0 win over Rochdale.

The left-back led the way in the National division for interceptions (8), aerial duels attempted (5) and won (4).

FC Halifax Town’s players are stepping up following the sale of seven-goal top scorer Millenic Alli to League One Exeter City. None more so than Max Wright who bagged a brace in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Dorking Wanderers.

No winger could match his five progressive runs, while Wright ranked fourth for penalty-area touches (5). He also posted the highest expected goals (xG) figure of any winger on Saturday (1.13).

Dagenham & Redbridge won’t forget February 10 any time soon – their 7-1 win over Oxford City providing the stand-out result of their campaign so far.

Josh Rees stole the show with a hat-trick from midfield – those goals coming from a league-high four shots among central midfielders. Unsurprisingly, none of his midfield peers had more touches in the box (8) or got close to his xG (1.23).

Nicky Featherstone has been key for Hartlepool United since re-signing and put in another timeless display in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Woking, live on TNT Sports.

He ranked second among all central midfielders for defensive duels won (8) while completing 40/44 passes at Kingfield.

Andrew Oluwabori was on target for Halifax at Meadowbank, bagging his first of the season.

He also topped the charts among National League wingers for attacking duels attempted (31) and won (13) while nobody could match his 17 dribbles attempted, or nine completions.

Through the middle, Inih Effiong continued his hot streak with a brace in Dagenham’s thrashing of Oxford City to take his tally to 10 in 10.

No striker in the division took more shots (6) or had more penalty-area touches (7) than the Daggers’ No.9.

Chris Conn-Clarke's remarkable individual campaign continued apace with a goal and an assist for promotion-chasing Altrincham.

Now up to 27 goal contributes (17 goals + 10 assists), this 22-year-old completed the second-most forward passes (9) of any attacking midfielder on Matchday 33 as the Robins rocked Rochdale.

Vanarama National League North

Alfreton Town were made to work hard for a 2-0 win at Darlington on with Josh Clackstone contributing impressively going forward.

No right-back in the North attempted (11) or completed (8) more final-third passes and his 27 completed passes ranked No.1 versus all players in his position.

In midfield, George Glendon remains hell bent on making up for lost time and grabbed his 10th of the season as Chester beat Scarborough Athletic 3-0.

The Seals skipper attempted more shots (3) than any attacking midfielder in the North but didn’t abandon his defensive duties. He completed six ball recoveries – enough to rank third in his position group.

Up top, Newcastle United loanee Dylan Stephenson bookended the scoring as South Shields put five unanswered goals past Gloucester City.

His brace came from just three shots and an xG total of 0.48 which indicates lethal finishing on the 21-year-old's part.

Vanarama National League South

Worthing striker Ollie Pearce is a Team of the Week regular – and it’s little wonder!

He bagged four as the Mackrel Men beat Dover Athletic 6-4 in a barely believable game in Sussex. That takes Pearce’s tally to 29 – more than anyone else in the National League, North or South.

He took eight shots, had nine touches in the box and posted an xG of 2.22 to top the charts among his striking peers in the South.

George Hoddle didn’t get on the scoresheet as St Albans City routed Taunton Town 6-0, but he pulled the strings for the Saints.

The 37 passes he received put him fifth among all central midfielders in the South. No one could better his 15 final-third passes attempted or 11 completed.

At the back, Jake Wannell provided an unlikely source of goals with a double as Yeovil Town beat Tonbridge Angels 4-2.

The Glovers centre-back also completed 54 of 59 passes for the league leaders, enough to rank sixth among all National League South centre-halves.

Where next?

Wembley In Sight After FA Trophy Quarter-Final Draw The draw for the FA Trophy quarter-finals has been made with Wembley now just two ties away.
Some Eye Catching Results As The Trophy Takes Over On FA Trophy weekend, there were plenty of National League tales to tell as well.