It couldn’t be tighter at the top of the Vanarama National League table as the teams take a rest from league action this week.
We could have had new leaders on Saturday evening after Forest Green Rovers, who have been at the summit for the majority of the campaign to date, were beaten at The New Lawn by improving Tranmere Rovers, for whom much-travelled veteran striker Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored within 5 minutes of his debut for Gary Brabin’s side, who are now fifth.
However, Rovers stay a point clear of secondplaced Cheltenham Town because the Robins were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Eastleigh, who had newly-appointed manager Chris Todd in full charge for the first time.
Dover Athletic continue to lead the way for the part-time sides in third, and enjoyed a 2-1 Crabble win over Macclesfield Town, who travelled to Kent having been unbeaten in five matches.
Grimsby Town occupy the other top five spot, although the Mariners had to be content with just a point from their long trip down to Torquay United, who have now gone three games without defeat under new player boss Kevin Nicholson.
At the other end of the table, Kidderminster Harriers continue to search for that elusive first win, and suffered an early ‘six-pointer’ defeat at Aggborough against fellow strugglers Southport.
The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round takes centre stage this weekend and there are one or two intriguing ties, including Harriers’ visit to Northern Premier League neighbours Stourbridge, the Glassboys’ league rivals and ambitious Salford City hosting Southport and BT Sport’s choice, National League South Margate against leaders Forest Green at Hartsdown Park.
There are four ties involving all-National League teams, including the Yorkshire derby between FC Halifax and Guiseley.