Vanarama Make Their Team Of The Weekend Picks!

By Sam Elliott

It’s congratulations to Yeovil Town who secured an immediate return to the Vanarama National League on Thursday, before lifting the National League South title on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the relegation battle looks set to go to the wire in a dramatic final week in the National division after Wealdstone and Boreham Wood both made it back-to-back wins.

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

No goalkeeper was busier than Oldham Athletic’s Mathew Hudson on Matchday 45. The Latics stopper saved all six of Oxford City’s on-target attempts and recorded more successful exits (3) than any other keeper in the division.

Maidenhead United will play National League football again next season after an impressive 2-1 win over playoff hopefuls Gateshead.

Zico Asare helped secure three precious points by succeeding in all five of his defensive actions while adding three interceptions.

Danny Collinge has returned to fitness in time to boost Barnet’s playoff campaign and got amongst the goals on Saturday as the Bees won 2-0 at FC Halifax Town.

He recorded four interceptions, won 66% of his aerial duels and was successful in all four of his defensive actions at Accrington Stanley’s Wham Stadium.

Next to him, Lewis Baines and Altrincham ensured a top-seven finish with a 2-0 win at Ebbsfleet United.

The 25-year-old won 100% of his defensive duels, 80% of his aerial duels and claimed four interceptions to help clinch a shut-out and three big points for the Robins.

Danny Amos has been a hit on loan at York City and it’s not hard to see why.

No left-back in the National League could top his nine interceptions or three successful aerial duels on Matchday 45. He also led the way for accurate final-third passes (8) as the Minstermen beat relegation rivals Woking 2-0.

Boreham Wood breathed new life into their survival battle with a ruthless 3-0 win at playoff chasing Aldershot Town – and Mo Sagaf was at the centre of it.

The Tanzanian international succeeded in all 11 of his defensive actions, recorded three interceptions and only misplaced two of his 23 passes in front of the TNT Sports cameras at the EBB Stadium.

It’s been a tough campaign for Oxford City but Josh Ashby’s side refuse to go down with a whimper, holding former Premier League giants Oldham Athletic to a goalless draw on Saturday.

Ashby completed 66 of 73 passes for the hosts – ranking third in both metrics among central midfielders. Twenty-one of those passes went forwards, enough to rank 2nd.

Rounding out our midfield trio is Bromley metronome Ashley Charles. Only a miracle would deny them a top-three finish after Saturday’s 3-0 revenge win over FA Trophy conquerors Solihull Moors.

Charles attempted (5) and completed (5) more dribbles than any other central midfielder on Matchday 45, as well as chalking up more progressive runs (4) and successful attacking duels (7) than his peers.

Wealdstone have left it late but moved three points clear of the drop on Saturday with a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win over Champions Chesterfield.

Tarryn Allarakhia completed seven of 12 dribbles, ranking 2nd among wide midfielders for both.

Paul McCallum ensured Eastleigh will be playing National League football again next season – while also sending Kidderminster Harriers down – with the only goal in a 1-0 win at Aggborough.

The striker’s 31st National League goal of the season was his most important. Defensively, the 31-year-old put in a shift for the Spitfires, succeeding in 10/10 defensive actions whilst racking up nine interceptions.

If anyone is going to gatecrash the playoffs, it’s Southend United. Fifteen games unbeaten, the Shrimpers won 2-0 at AFC Fylde with Danny Waldron on the scoresheet.

No National League striker had more touches in the box (9) or more headed attempts (3) than the former Rushall Olympic marksman. His expected goals (xG) tally of 1.42 was a high among all strikers, too.

Vanarama National League North

Tamworth might have secured their place in the Vanarama National League next season but they’re not letting up, beating playoff hopefuls South Shields 3-2 on Saturday.

Jamie Willets attempted (10) more aerial duels than any other centre-back in the North and was only behind Shields’ Tom Broadbent (7) with six aerial duels won. He also ranked fifth among centre-backs for interceptions with six.

No doubt Curzon Ashton boss Craig Mahon will be pleased with the Nash match-winner in Saturday’s 4-1 win over Gloucester City... two-goal Craig Mahon!

The midfielder struck twice from three shots while attempting (14) and completing (8) more dribbles than any other central midfielder in National League North.

Scunthorpe United will enter the playoffs in good nick after thrashing Blyth Spartans 5-1 to make it six wins from eight.

Danny Whitehall struck twice to take his league tally to 21 for the season – his only shots of the afternoon. An xG of 1.45 improved to a post-shot xG (the value of the shot based on its placement) of 1.77, behind only Brackley Town’s Connor Hall (1.83).

Vanarama National League South

The relegation battle in National League South looks set to provide drama until the last after Taunton Town recorded a priceless 1-0 win at Farnborough on Saturday.

Centre-back Cameron Evans was the match winner but helped preserve the win by succeeding in 13.17 defensive actions and making 10 interceptions – fourth for his position in the South.

Jermaine Francis has been included in Team of the Week on a regular basis this term and bagged a brace for Chelmsford City in their 3-0 win over Tonbridge Angels. In doing so, virtually securing 2nd place and a home playoff semi-final.

Francis recorded the highest xG (1.7) of any winger in the South, as well as completing the most passes (23) and chipped in with 11 ball recoveries – also No.1 in his position.

Braintree Town go into the final weekend knowing they could nick 3rd place and avoid a playoff eliminator after winning 2-1 at Havant & Waterlooville.

Shaq Coulthirst’s double did for the Hawks, taking him up to 11 goals in 21 starts since joining the Iron on loan from Ebbsfleet United. No striker in National League South won more attacking duels than his nine.


Where next?

Brown Opens Up On His Harriers Future After 'Very Sad Day' Phil Brown admits he has “fallen in love” with Kidderminster Harriers and hinted that he’s prepared to stay on despite relegation.
Many Matters Now Settled With Just One Week Left To Go Important matters were settled as lifelines were thrown on a high energy penultimate weekend of the season.

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Vanarama National League North
Vanarama National League South

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