NATIONAL LEAGUE TITLE RACE: 9 TEAMS EYEING PROMOTION AS CHESTERFIELD LEAD THE WAY
The National league title race is hotting up and nobody in the top half has been written off yet. Chesterfield currently sit top of the pile but that can change any match day. Grimsby and Boreham Wood make up the top three and they too have also occupied top spot throughout the season so far. However, any team down to seventh have a chance of catching up.
Despite that Solihull in eighth and Wrexham in ninth at the time of writing (19th November) have an outside chance especially considering Wrexham’s financial firepower. They have last seasons League Two top goal scorer in Paul Mullin and Ben Tozer formerly of Cheltenham. Both teams also have option to bolster their squad as there is no transfer window in the National League.
Let’s turn our attention to the top three who have been ever present in the fight for the title thus far. Chesterfield and Grimsby would have set their targets of being the champions at the start of the season or at least promotion, Boreham Wood however, are some what unexpected achievers so far this season from an outside point of view especially considering they lost their main talisman Kabongo Tshimanga to promotion rivals Chesterfield in the summer but they have adapted brilliantly.
With the money Boreham Wood have recuperated from the sale of Tshimanga they have built a well balanced squad capable of winning games by narrow margins and keeping a large amount of clean sheets which allows them to win games by one goal. They have kept nine clean sheets out of fifteen games so far which is a credit to their defence and organisation. They currently sit two points ahead of Grimsby in third and one point behind Chesterfield who are top.
Recently relegated Grimsby are hoping for an immediate return to the football league and they’re on route to do that. With Paul Hurst at the helm they have managed nine wins out of fifteen which has propelled them to third however, before their last three games which they’ve lost all three of they were occupying top of the table for most of the season.
Our current table toppers are Chesterfield going into game week 16 and James Rowe’s men have been impressive so far. Despite a couple of late equalisers going against them and a loss to Woking they have been near perfect and that’s with a current injury crisis going on at the club. Their three at the back formation with attacking full backs is working wonders and main man Tshimanga has been firing the goals in which sees him top of the scoring charts with 15 in 15. They have also added defenders Luke Croll and Tyrone Williams to their squad as their injury list gets bigger.
Another outsider for many are Bromley who have quietly crept up the table into fourth with a game in hand on the top three and only one point behind Grimsby. Their good form has lead to boss, Andy Woodman being linked to the Hartlepool job but they will be hoping to keep hold of him for the foreseeable future. Another one they’ll want to keep hold of is the star striker Michael Cheek who has ten in fourteen. Cheek’s goals alongside a sturdy defence has given them a chance of finishing top.
Notts county and Dagenham & Redbridge were two names that were spoken about leading the pack before the season kicked off due to their good performances last season. Notts County suffered playoff heartbreak and Dagenham just missed out. Both would’ve been hoping for better than fifth (Notts County) and seventh however, there is still plenty of time to turn things around. Dagenham had a terrific start to the season and were top two for quite a while but they have suffered a little bit of poor form. Notts County on the other hand had a somewhat shaky start with a few draws but have been pretty consistent since their 3-2 loss to Halifax.
Now onto Halifax who sit in sixth with a game in hand. They have been very good at creating chances and Jordon Slew and Billy Waters have been very good at taking them. They’ll just be hoping they can keep up with the big spenders and carry on with the consistency they’re showing at the moment.
The National League is full of lots of incredibly competitive teams this year with budgets bigger than ever too. I think it could go down to the very last day it’s just about who can keep their consistency as this league offers many twists and turns. No doubt we’ll see some shocks and losses of form and probably some more transfers too but who do you think will be crowned champions?