December was quite a disrupted month of action with weather causing postponements in league and cup games as well as technical issues which prevented me from updating this column in recent weeks. This added to the usual hectic run of games over the festive period, a time that can make or break a teams season with so many points available over a short space of time.
Grimsby Town have taken control at the top of the table and consolidated their one point lead with an impressive 4-1 win away at mid table Lincoln City on Boxing Day. Their follow up game last Saturday one of the six games to fall victim to the weather. Newport also picked up a valuable 2-1 away win at Forest Green before their next game was also postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Wrexham managed to pick up four point out of possible six to stay in contention just three points behind the leaders in third. A 4-1 win at home to Telford and a 2-2 draw against Tamworth keeping up the pace. Luton Town and Kidderminster round off the play off places, with the Harriers (as well as ninth placed Hyde United) continuing their fine run of form after a poor start to the season saw them both deep in relegation trouble.
Forest Green and Dartford have kept up the chase on the play off spots and opened up a five point gap on the teams below them. Following that their are only twelve points covering the other seventeen teams in the league, which proves the importance of this run of games. A decent run can lift you up a considerable amount of places and turn a relegation battle into an outside shot at the top five if you can keep going.
The bottom four are still in touch with safety, but a slump in form as well as a lack of games causing Barrow to fall to the bottom of the Premier. Their home defeat on Boxing Day to Gateshead summing up their season so far. They threatened occasionally but didn’t make their chances count and were left with a winnable game turning into a 2-0 defeat. Ebbsfleet United and Nuneaton Town have stayed rooted in the bottom four for most of the season and have shown little to say they may escape it although they are both only a win away from moving out of the relegation zone. Stockport currently fill the last relegation place after only picking up one of six points available over the last week, including a defeat at home to local rivals Hyde United.
With another two almost full programmes over the next few days, there is the chance of a lot of movement and also the opening of the transfer window normally means a lot of activity with loan deals being the main source of players for the teams at this level.