As the teams headed into the busy festive period, the league was definitely shaping up to be as exciting as it promised at the start of the season. Wrexham and Fleetwood Town still led the way, being separated from each other only by goal difference with a six-point gap to third placed Southport. I still think that the eventual winner will come from one of these two teams, with fourth placed York City a decent outside bet for honours, despite their nine-point deficit. Luton Town rounded off the play off places and are looking good in their charge to return to league football.
Kidderminster Harriers and Cambridge United were clinging onto their play off hopes in sixth and seventh ahead of the Christmas schedule and Gateshead could still trouble the leaders with another run like they had at the start of the season. Forest Green have also been impressive and seem competent of staying in the top half when it comes to the business end of the season. Mansfield, Darlington also seem quite comfortable in mid table while Barrow have been one of the surprises of the season with some excellent results against the top teams. Braintree’s excellent start saw them hold onto a playoff place for many weeks before a slump in form saw them drop down the table, but they have seen their poor run end and they could still have a say.
Tamworth have a game or two in hand on most teams so a good run could see them move a few places of the fourteenth they currently hold. Grimsby are also mid table, having not been able to replicate their decent home form away from Blundell Park. Ebbsfleet are a few points adrift of the other mid table teams but should have enough to stay away from any relegation battle. Lincoln and Telford need to improve their away record to move away from the wrong end of the table.
Newport County and Kettering continue to flirt with danger and sit just about the relegation trap door. There seems no end to their current troubles, currently being under a transfer embargo and fielding only two substitutes at a recent game. Hayes & Yeading slipped in to the bottom four after winning only five games so far this season. Stockport’s poor run after their unbeaten start to the season has seen them plummet into the relegation zone and look in real danger. Alfreton and Bath occupy the last two places and continue to fight to escape the drop.