Vanarama Make Their Team Of The Weekend Picks!

By Sam Elliott

Chesterfield need just eight points from nine remaining fixtures to clinch the Vanarama National League after a resounding win over AFC Fylde on Matchday 38.

Elsewhere, Solihull Moors, Bromley and Gateshead advanced to the FA Trophy semi-finals on another dramatic weekend of action from the fifth tier.

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

York City’s trip to Kidderminster Harriers was the cliched six pointer with both sides currently in the National League relegation zone.

Defences were on top in the 0-0 draw at Aggborough with Callum Howe starring for the Minstermen.

Eight of his nine defensive actions were successful, and he ranked sixth among all centre-backs for aerial duels won (10).

For Harriers, Cole Kpekawa was imperious as the hosts recorded a shut-out. No central defender attempted (24) or won (20) more aerial duels on Matchday 38. He was also first for completed ball recoveries (32).

Maidenhead United have won two of their last three after picking up an important 4-2 win over Dorking Wanderers on Saturday.

Reece Smith has been the Magpies’ main man this season and he was once more at York Road.
As well as scoring, he attempted four shots, five progressive runs, six penalty-area touches and won seven attacking duels – ranking first in each metric for attacking midfielders.

Chesterfield got back to winning ways with a crushing 4-1 win over AFC Fylde. Even at 36, Mike Jones remains key for the Spireites and popped up with a goal.

He was second for completed final-third passes (8) among all central midfielders – with a 100% success rate in that metric – and a 91.2% overall pass completion.
Florent Hoti has found his rhythm for FC Halifax Town of late and scored his third in five games in their 2-1 win over Boreham Wood.

No attacking midfielder could better the five dribbles he attempted or completed against the Wood. He also received more passes (18) than any positional peer.
Ryan Glover continues to thrive at wing-back for Aldershot Town and provided an assist during Saturday’s impressive 2-0 win over Oldham Athletic.

No National League wing-back could better Glover for interceptions (5), aerial duels won (4), loose ball duels won (6) or ball recoveries (14).
It’s now three consecutive wins for Woking with Ricky Korboa once again proving the man for the crunch by scoring the winner at Altrincham.

No striker attempted (9) or competed (4) more dribbles on Matchday 38 but Korboa also contributed defensively, recording five ball recoveries (2nd) and winning four loose ball duels (2nd).

Alongside him, Southend United striker Danny Waldron bagged his first home goal for the Shrimpers in the 1-1 draw with rivals Dagenham and Redbridge on TNT Sports.
Waldron recorded the sixth-highest expected goals (xG) total of all National League strikers with 0.93 on the day.

Vanarama National League North

Goals were the order of the day in National League North with 10 going in at the Tiger Turf Stadium alone as Boston United routed Gloucester City 7-3.

Strike duo Kelsey Mooney (4) and Jimmy Knowles (3) stole the headlines by splitting the lot between them.

Incredibly, neither forward managed more than four shots (3rd vs all strikers) and Knowles had the most penalty-area touches of the Pilgrims pair with just six!
Mooney recorded the highest xG figure in the North on Matchday 38, though, clocking up chances worth 1.8 expected goals. Knowles was a place behind in second with an xG of 1.64.

An honourable mention must go to Scunthorpe United striker Danny Whitehall who ‘only’ bagged a hat-trick as the Iron won 5-0 at Bishop’s Stortford.

Vanarama National League South

Chelmsford City put Monday’s 1-0 defeat against Worthing behind them in fine style by winning 4-1 at Truro City on Saturday.

A pair of George Alexander penalties – with the first coming after just three minutes – got the Clarets back on track.

Only Worthing’s Ollie Pearce (7) took more shots than Alexander (6) who also recorded the highest xG (2.76) of any South striker.

Yeovil Town hadn’t lost a home league game this season before Saturday. Thanks to Welling United’s 1-0 victory at Huish Park, that streak is over.

Anthony Grant got the winner 18 minutes from time. The 36-year-old ranked first among South central midfielders for dribbles attempted (7), completed (6) and attacking duels won (9).

Taunton Town condemned Worthing to their third defeat in four by running out 3-1 winners at Woodside Road on Saturday.

Nick Grimes was just one of several stars for the visitors, succeeding with 13/16 defensive actions on the day, as well as record 11 interceptions – enough to rank third among all South centre-backs.

Where next?

FA Trophy Semi-Final Draw Is Made As Wembley Looms The draw for the FA Trophy semi-finals has been made with Wembley now just one tie away.
More Twists And Turns On Another Sensational Saturday It was another intense day at both ends as Chesterfield moved to within three wins of the National League title.

Match centre

Vanarama National League North
Vanarama National League South

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