Vanarama Make Their Team Of The Weekend Picks!

By Sam Elliott

After six long years, Chesterfield are heading back to the EFL as worthy Vanarama National League Champions following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Boreham Wood.

After six long years, Chesterfield are heading back to the EFL as worthy Vanarama National League Champions following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Boreham Wood.

The Spireites turned the heartbreak of their penalty shootout defeat to Notts County in last season’s Promotion Final at Wembley into the inspiration behind a relentless campaign which ends in richly-deserved glory.

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

Wealdstone’s 1-1 draw against Kidderminster Harriers could prove pivotal in the relegation battle. Not only was it a point on the board for the Stones but it kept their opponents in the bottom four.

Goalkeeper Marcus Dewhurst saved two of the three on-target shots he faced while winning 100% of his aerial duels.

York City’s 2-0 win at Bromley had ramifications at both ends of the table, making it back-to-back wins for the Minstermen.

Versatile full-back Thierry Latty-Fairweather impressed on the right for Adam Hinshelwood’s side. No-one in his position won more attacking duels (7) and he was second for completed dribbles with 6/7.

Jamie Grimes can’t have had many better days in his career to date. Having not scored since August, the Chesterfield skipper chose the perfect time to bag a brace before lifting the Vanarama National League trophy.

He completed 33/36 passes against Boreham Wood to record a 91.7% pass completion – second among all centre-backs.

Next to him, Dagenham & Redbridge’s Tom Eastman won more aerial duels (15) than any other central defender on Matchday 41.

The Daggers collected a credible point and a clean sheet against Oldham Athletic with Eastman also No.1 for loose balls recovered (27).

Gateshead came from behind to leapfrog playoff rivals Altrincham with a 3-2 win that saw the Robins drop to eighth.

Ben Worman ranked first for progressive runs (4) and penalty-area touches (4) by a wing-back, as well as succeeding with 10 of 12 defensive actions.

Another playoff match-up saw Aldershot Town draw 1-1 with Solihull Moors. Theo Widdrington caught the eye for the Shots, completing six of seven final-third passes for the hosts.

With 45 accurate passes in total, he ranked seventh among all central midfielders on Saturday.

Ryan East has been key for improving Rochdale and underlined that in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Maidenhead United.

He received the ball 49 times from teammates – a figure no other central midfielder could top. Furthermore, he was second for attempted (72) and completed (64) passes in his position.

Barnet are looking increasingly likely to finish second thanks in no small part to skipper Dale Gorman’s return to fitness.

The Ulsterman struck in the midweek win over Eastleigh and was at it again on Saturday as the Bees routed Dorking Wanderers 6-0. He also completed 9/10 defensive actions and 23/27 passes at The Hive.

Nick Haughton is arguably the form player in the Vanarama National League right now and got his ninth goal in his last 11 appearances as AFC Fylde beat Oxford City 2-1.

No attacking midfielder attempted more shots (6) or completed more dribbled than Haughton (5).

After missing the midweek win over Eastleigh on England C duty, Barnet striker Callum Stead made up for lost time with a brace in the Bees’ Dorking demolition.

That double came from an expected goals (xG) value of just 0.47 which indicates clinical finishing. Stead also won more attacking duels (9) than any striker on MD41.

Completing the XI is York City talisman Dipo Akinyemi. He hadn’t scored in 11 but delivered when it mattered most in the 2-0 win at Bromley.

Akinyemi took the 3rd-most touches in the opposition box (5) but also contested the 2nd-most loose ball duels (15), underlining his tireless work for the Minstermen.

Vanarama National League North

There's something in the water at Boston United where, for the third week in a row, the Pilgrims have a striker with a hat-trick included in the Vanarama National League North XI.

Last weekend it was Kelsey Mooney and the week prior, it was Mooney and Jimmy Knowles. This week, it’s the latter who netted a first-half treble in the win at play-off rivals Chorley.

Just two points separate Rushall Olympic and Darlington after the former beat the latter 3-2 in a potentially crucial battle at the bottom.

The Pics stay the wrong side of the dotted line but closed the gap thanks to Ronan Maher’s double. He ranked 1st among all North wingers for shots (6), dribbles attempted (12), dribbles completed (9), progressive runs (7) and passes received (45).

George Carline was Brackley Town’s match winner against Alfreton Town, leapfrogging Chorley into third.

He was successful in 12 of 15 defensive duels for Gavin Cowan’s side while no centre-back in the North could match his 20 aerial duels attempted.

Vanarama National League South

Ollie Pearce tends to get all the headlines at Worthing, but it was Danny Cashman’s time to shine on Sunday as the Rebels drew 2-2 with Bath City live on TNT Sport.

His double ensured a precious point for the Sussex side and took his goal tally for the season to nine. Cashman took more shots (7) than any other attacking midfielder and was second for touches in the box (7).

It’s now four straight wins for Chippenham Town who haven’t managed that since racking up five straight this time last year.

Tyreke Johnson scored twice for the Bluebirds but didn’t abandon his defensive responsibilities either. He was successful with eight of the 11 defensive actions he attempted while also completing three of four crosses.

At the back, Asa Hall delivered a captain’s performance for beleaguered Torquay United. The 37-year-old converted from the spot to clinch a priceless 1-0 win over Hampton & Richmond.

He also won 7/10 defensive duels and 8/12 aerial duels while completing 33/39 passes for the Gulls.

Where next?

Mellon's Message For Oldham Fans As Frustration Grows Micky Mellon says the only way Oldham Athletic can shoehorn their way into the play-off pack is by sticking together.
Chesterfield Are The Champions As More Matters Are Settled On Non-League Day, Chesterfield said hello to the EFL as the new champions waved goodbye to the National League with a stylish win over Boreham Wood.