Blue Square Bet Premier League – Tight at the top

by Stephen Fallows

Blue Square Barrow DarlingtonWith only a couple of months left in the season, there is still a lot to play for in the Blue Square Bet Premier, with no one massively outshining or underperforming at either end of the table.

Grimsby and Wrexham continue to set the pace at the top of the Conference and fight for the one automatic promotion spot into the Football League. Both are tied on 58 points (although Grimsby have a slightly better goal difference and a game in hand) and are 5 points ahead of their nearest challengers. Grimsby took six points from their most recent games against Telford (1-0) and Alfreton (4-2) as did Wrexham from wins against Stockport (3-1) and Hereford (1-0).

Newport have games in hand on both of the leading two and find themselves in a decent spot for a late challenge despite dropping two points at home to Tamworth, before they got back on track with a 2-0 win at home to Mansfield.If you were to bet on football here it would be hard to pick a champion at this point.

Forest Green also won four points from a possible six, drawing away at Luton before a healthy 4-1 win at home to Braintree. Kidderminster round off the top five and continue their push for the play offs despite spending a large part at the beginning of the season in the bottom four. They have gained six points from the last two games beating Telford (1-0) and Cambridge (3-2).

Mansfield made the national headlines from their 8-1 win against Barrow (which earned their manager a new car) but were brought back down to earth with a defeat away at Newport days later. Luton, Macclesfield and Dartford all follow in 7th, 8th and 9th positions with only Dartford managing to pick up a win form any of their last two games, a 1-0 win at home to Luton. These teams are now falling away from the play-off spots and drawn into mid table obscurity. Cambridge are also falling away from the top five, losing both of their last two games, while Southport are going in the opposite direction with a maximum six from their last two outings. Woking find themselves in a tricky situation, a couple of wins could find them in a late push high up the table, and a couple of defeats could send them into the relegation dogfight, although recent results (2-1 vs Hyde and 3-0 vs Alfreton) show them heading in the right direction.

Hereford are living up to their mid table billing, with a win away at Braintree and an away loss at Wrexham in their most recent games, with similar recent  form also from Stockport and Alfreton. Hyde managed four points from six and Tamworth have struggled to two successive draws. Lincoln managed a win against Dartford to give their season a kickstart but still find themselves on a few points clear of the bottom four, and two successive defeats for Braintree will have their fans nervously looking over their shoulders as the season faces its run in.  Gateshead’s two recent defeats show the team a shadow of the start of the season, where they lead the table at one point. Losses to Ebbsfleet and Tamworth have found the team dangerously close to the bottom four.

Telford and Barrow are just two points from climbing out of the relegation zone, although both have done little recently to help their cause. Telford lost to both Hyde United and Grimsby, whilst Barrow lost all of the momentum from their recent decent run of form as they shipped 13 in goals in two games, losing 8-1 at Mansfield and 5-2 at Southport. Nuneaton stay in trouble as two defeats to Southport and Stockport see them stuck in the relegation dogfight, where they have been for most of the season.  Ebbsfleet occupy the bottom spot of the table right now, as they have been down in the bottom part of the table for some time, they are still just four points adrift of safety at the moment. After being beaten heavily by Macclesfield at home they managed an important 3-1 win at home to early pace setters Gateshead.

Author Info

Stephen Fallows

Stephen Fallows

Barrow AFC fan, long since joined the ranks of the disenchanted after becoming disillusioned with the Premier League juggernaut, although keeping a keen eye on all things football and like every football fan, has an opinion on whats going on.

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