Blue Square Bet Premier League – The run in

by Stephen Fallows

Blue SquareThere are just over six weeks of the 2012 / 2013 Blue Square Bet Premier season left, and things couldn’t be tighter at the top, with Wrexham, Kidderminster Harriers and Mansfield Town all level on points. Both Mansfield and Wrexham have two games in hand over the Harriers, but this season has seen many surprise results, so it is starting to look like nothing will be decided until the very last weekend next month. Newport County sit in fourth place just two points off the top three and Grimsby a further two points behind, but they also have games in hand.

Although those top five look likely to contest the play offs, Forest Green Rovers and Macclesfield Town aren’t too far behind should one of the top five slip up. This season has shown that anyone can beat anyone in this league, so a well-timed good run could propel either of these teams into the end of season play offs. Luton Town again look like missing out and spending another year in the Conference, although their tremendous FA Cup run gave their fans something to cheer about this season, and they will no doubt start next season amongst the favourites. They currently sit with a group of teams including Hereford United, Cambridge United, Woking, Dartford and Southport that will probably end the season in mid table as they are far enough away from both promotion and relegation battles to keep safe for this year.

The bottom half of the table is a very close run thing with only ten points covering from 12th position to 21st. Tamworth and Braintree Town are level on 44 points, although Braintree have four games in hand. Alfreton Town are two behind them, with Gateshead and Lincoln two more points behind. Stockport County and Barrow continue to flirt with danger but have both recently jumped out of the bottom four and although very close, seem to have a bit of impetus about them. This could change from week to week during the run  in though.

As much as there being no dominant team at the top end of the table, there has been no whipping boys at the bottom either. Kidderminster had a terrible start to the season but then went on the run that has seen the rise to second in the league, and  the teams that are down the bottom end of the have suffered from dropping points they should have won, rather than being convincingly beaten regularly. Hyde United and Nuneaton sit just inside the bottom four, only a point adrift of safety, Ebbsfleet United are four further back, and the only club that looks in real danger are Telford, who as well a bad run of results appointed their fourth manager in just 39 days with coach John Psaras taking over until the end of the season..

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