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National League - the run-in


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So Easter Monday brought good and bad news. Grimsby's win against KL means they leapfrog us in the table having played a game more, while Halifax's win over Chesterfield means we're now ten points adrift of third place, which will be a really tall order, especially with the Shaymen in fine form. Realistically, I think it's gone - if Halifax win three of their last five, we can't catch them whatever we do. On the other hand, a win in our game in hand (against Dover) would put us in fifth place above Chesterfield, and a finish in fifth or fourth would at least get us a home quarter final in the play-offs. But looking at their fixtures, Grimsby may well push us to the wire for that.

Looking downwards, Dagenham are only a couple of points behind us and have won three on the bounce, but they have to play Solihull and Wrexham still. On the other hand, those teams might well have their play-off spots booked by the time the Daggers play them ans be resting players. How do you think it'll turn out?

Remaining fixtures:

Halifax: Southend (a), Yeovil (h), Eastleigh (a), Aldershot (h), Stockport (a)

Solihull: Aldershot (h), Weymouth (a), Bromley (h), Dagenham (h), Boreham Wood (a)

Chesterfield: Dover (h), Bromley (a), Stockport (h), Torquay (a), Woking (h)

Grimsby: Torquay (h), Barnet (a), Maidenhead (h), Boreham Wood (h), Eastleigh (a)

Dagenham: King's Lynn (h), Wealdstone (a), Torquay (h), Solihull (a), Wrexham (h)

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Wrexham will keep pushing until it's mathematically possible they can't win the title, I don't think Stockport will throw away a 7 point lead this late on but in football you just never know.

Unfortunately for us 3rd is very unlikely, but win that game in hand and we'll be 5th and within 2 points of 4th. I think we'll be battling it out with Grimsby and Solihull for the home quarter-final places, it's in our hands which is a bonus. And right now based on form and fixtures it looks like Chesterfield will be battling it out with Dagenham for the final play-off spot. 

The only thing with the placings is who would you want for that play-off semi-final away game? Wrexham is the harder away game but you'll probably have to beat them at some point if you want to go up and I'd rather play Halifax in the final... 

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The odds of Notts winning their last 4 games are pretty good. That will leave us on 85 points. I think we'll have a superior GD as well so that means Halifax will need 9 from their last 4 to finish above us. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well Wrexham made it interesting with their 3-0 win over Stockport yesterday. They are now top on goal difference but Stockport have a game in hand. That game is against Torquay at home next Wednesday. No matter what happens in that game, the title race will go down to the last game of the season. Wrexham are at Dagenham. Dagenham could snatch the final playoff place from a reeling Chesterfield. Stockport are home to Halifax. Halifax are guaranteed a home semi final. Will they rest players for that or will they play their first team? That's the big question. I'm looking forward to this. Squeaky bum time. Love it. 

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@Dripsey3 Halifax want third and aren't guaranteed a home semi, so they will not be resting players as currently Solihull have that position on goal difference. I think Stockport will do it by a point, although they got beat at the weekend, by all accounts they were the better side until Wrexham scored so should make it over the line. I fancy them to beat Torquay on Wednesday and will be good enough for a point on Saturday against Halifax.

From a Notts perspective, Wrexham are in better form, so it would be in our interest for them to go up automatically as I can see Stockport collapsing in the play offs after practically have promotion wrapped up a couple of weeks ago.

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Yeah, I mean if Stockport lose to Torquay than I think they'll have blown it. I think they'll be feeling more pressure now than they thought they would, they really should have been able to wrap up the title given the initial gap they created.

Wrexham just seem to be on a roll at the moment, and given they just turned Stockport over, I'd hate to go there away.

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Stockport beat Torquay 1-0 last night. A gutsy win at this point of the season. They have gone 3 points clear at the top. They need a point at home to Halifax to seal the deal. Wrexham need to win and hope Stockport lose. They would go up on goal difference. I hope it is a final day full of drama. Except for Notts, I want that game to be over after 10 mins so I can focus on the title race 🤣

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Stockport got the job done with a minimum of fuss. Wrexham lost at Dagenham. Stockport deserved to win the league. They were the best team in the league. 

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Notts, in the end 13 points away from winning promotion, all hypothetical

3 pts Halifax away thrown away

2 pts Torquay home against 10 men

1pt Bromley away despite dominating the first 44 mins

6 pts Altrincham and Eastleigh away, matches that should have been won but we didnt turn up

1 pt Aldershot away. Penalty not given at 1-1

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So the first round of the playoffs are: 

Notts County vs Grimsby Town 

FC Halifax vs Chesterfield

The NL will be delighted with Notts vs Grimsby. The attendance should be over 10K. Halifax could be a sell out as Chesterfield don't have far to travel. These could be the best playoffs in NL history. You have 4 decent sides in the first round. Any of those 4 are capable of winning promotion if things go their way. Then you have Wrexham and Solihull waiting in the wings. Obviously we hope Notts go up but I'd hate to be the one trying to predict the winners of these playoffs. 

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More than capable of winning promotion through this route, unfortunately we have a tendency to be not fully focused when it matters. Sincerely hope I'm wrong but I think we will be facing a further year in this league at least.

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It will  all come down to our ability to escape the press that will be employed against us. We are more than capable of beating all the clubs put in front of us, but we are also capable of buckling under the pressure in games.

I can't predict the winner of these playoffs but if I had to, I would back Solihull. Mainly because they have finished the season very strongly and played some tough opposition in that run in.

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On 16/05/2022 at 13:27, Dripsey3 said:

So the first round of the playoffs are: 

Notts County vs Grimsby Town 

FC Halifax vs Chesterfield

The NL will be delighted with Notts vs Grimsby. The attendance should be over 10K. Halifax could be a sell out as Chesterfield don't have far to travel. These could be the best playoffs in NL history. You have 4 decent sides in the first round. Any of those 4 are capable of winning promotion if things go their way. Then you have Wrexham and Solihull waiting in the wings. Obviously we hope Notts go up but I'd hate to be the one trying to predict the winners of these playoffs. 

Seconded! I'm expecting a crowd of 15,000 at least for ours (considering the amount of time Grimsby fans spend on social media bragging about how many fans they've got, they'd better bring a good following!).

But predicting play-offs is a waste of time, the games are so tightly contested and so many things come into play. Wrexham last badly on the final day and you have to wonder whether missing out on the final day has interrupted their momentum somewhat. But on the other hand, it could have the opposite effect. Obviously I want us to go up, but if we don't, I'd prefer to have Wrexham out of the way for next season. I don't want to attempt to win the NL title against a club that are splashing out millions.

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Yep, tough to predict who will go up. That said given how Chesterfield limped over the line I'd be really surprised if they won it.

In terms of us, if we get to Wrexham and beat them I really would fancy us to do it. But those will be two tough games, Grimsby unbeaten in their last 7 away games and we just aren't as good away from home.

I kind of agree with @DangerousSausage with regards to Wrexham in the NL next season. But I can't help but think of their documentary, they'll want a win at Wembley desperately for that. So them not getting promoted would be funny!

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