By Jeff Brazier
The window of opportunity is rapidly closing for many teams now with 15th May fast approaching. I’m taking a look at the sides competing for promotion and giving my thoughts on who makes the play-offs and who misses out.
At the top end, Stockport travel to Yeovil on Saturday and are playing for the right to put 10 points between them and Wrexham who kick off later in their televised clash away to Woking. Halifax may well step into 2nd if they win at Southend, keeping the gap to 8, but after this weekend Stockport and Wrexham will only have 5 to go and Halifax 4 so both chasing sides need to be perfect and hope that Challinor’s side, who do have a particularly tough run-in, buckle under the pressure.
That said, Paddy Madden’s last-minute winner against a Solihull side that were 16 unbeaten will only add to the excitement and anticipation around Edgeley Park. Yeovil A, Boreham Wood H, Chesterfield A, Wrexham A, Torquay H and Halifax H will enjoy their opportunity to either prove a point against champions-elect or in the cases of both Wrexham and their opponents on final match day Halifax, potentially cause great drama with a ‘6 point’ victory over the Hatters.
What I’m particularly fascinated with is the play-off scenario. I think those positions are already decided except for that last spot. Despite just 1 defeat in 10, Torquay may well have ruled themselves out with that goalless draw at home to Eastleigh which leaves them 7 points off current occupants of 7th place Notts County.
Boreham Wood and Bromley ending up mid-table would have sounded inconceivable a few months back but no win in 10 and 1 win in 10 respectively will have much to do with it. Who’d have thought the FA Cup run and Woodman hearing Gillingham out would be so derailing for their seasons. The Ravens will want to hit the FA Trophy final in better form than they are on now.
Grimsby and Notts County have particularly favourable fixtures left to play and I can’t see them faltering, which I believe leaves Chesterfield on 70 and Dagenham on 65 battling it out for 7th.
Chesterfield are heading in the wrong direction – just the one win in 5, with Paul Cook’s side only winning 1 in 7 on the road. Looking at Chesterfield’s fixtures, current form suggests they might take around 5-7 points.
Dagenham have won their last 3 consecutive games and 7 of their last 10 so they are undoubtedly coming good at the right time.
Kings Lynn H
I think there are 8 or 9 points there for Dagenham but if they want to pip Chesterfield for 7th they might need 4 wins from their last 5 and that won’t be easy given their last 3 opponents.
At the bottom end, King’s Lynn have done incredibly well since I watched their defeat to Stockport, winning 8 points in a 4 game unbeaten run before losing to both Notts County and Grimsby. They have 4 games left, 3 against teams that aren’t playing for anything, but if they lose to Dagenham on Saturday and Aldershot get something against Solihull then it’s all over anyway.
Aldershot have two extra games left and came good against Boreham Wood and Yeovil recently, all but closing the door on any thoughts of a late escape King’s Lynn might have been having. If they do lose against Solihull and King’s Lynn get an unlikely win v Dagenham then it could get uncomfortable because The Shots face Bromley A and Notts County H in their next 2 games.
It's all still to play for at both ends of the table. Let’s see if we know any more after this weekend’s fixtures.