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10th March, 2019 · · Uncategorized · 0 comments

The battle to stay up in the National League is promising to be one of the most interesting aspects of the Non-League campaign.

The fact that you currently have teams such as Chesterfield and Aldershot in the lower echelons of the division really goes to show just how high the standard in the National League has become over the past few years.

Gone are the days where a massive gulf in class used to exist between the top and the bottom of the table and I can honestly say that this season has heralded some of the most competitive games at Step 1 level that I have ever seen.

It will be fascinating to see how the battle to remain in the league evolves as the season enters its business end and with just five points currently separating 21st and 15th position, there a plenty of teams that could get dragged into trouble before the campaign’s end.

When glancing at the bottom of the National League table however, a rather interesting piece of information soon emerges.

Currently seven of the bottom eight teams are based towards the south of the country.

On any normal occasion, you would expect anyone from Braintree, Maidstone, Aldershot, Havant & Waterlooville, Dover, Barnet,  Boreham Wood and Maidenhead to drop down to the National League South if they suffered relegation.

This throws up a potential logistical nightmare for the National League as it now appears highly likely that some serious re-structuring of teams in the North and South will be needed over the summer.

Teams such as Hemel Hempstead, Oxford City, Gloucester City could therefore be in for a nervous wait because as things stand they be victims of a restructure.

Of course, there is not a huge amount that can really be done about this as both leagues need to contain 22 teams but you have got to spear a thought for a southern based team that ends up getting moved into the National League North.

Travel costs will be much higher, while the long journeys to places such as Blyth and York would certainly take their toll on the players.

It is an unfortunate situation but that is the nature of filtering a nationwide division into two distinct regional blocs.

Written by Hugo Varley 

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