There may not have been many midweek engagements of late for Altrincham, but we are already on the verge of double figures, in terms of games played. Here, Alty director Bill Waterson casts an eye over the latest batch of fixtures in what is fast becoming a highly-competitive division.
The ninth round of matches in the Vanarama National League North took place over the weekend, and a season that has already seen many surprise results duly came up with a few more.
Pride of place arguably went to Darlington, who shook off any lingering ill-effects from their recent 3-0 mauling by Alty to shock high-flying AFC Telford 3-0, though Chester’s 5-3 win over our next opponents Bradford Park Avenue is also worthy of mention.
Alfreton Town’s recent strong form did not faze Guiseley, who came away from the Impact Arena with a 1-0 victory, while Spennymoor Town excelled on the road again, winning 2-0 at Leamington.
Some games did adhere to the form book, not least Chorley’s 5-0 drubbing of Ashton United on Tameside and Kidderminster’s maintaining of their unbeaten run with a 3-1 victory at home to Blyth Spartans. FC United of Manchester followed the previous Sunday’s 2-2- home draw with Bradford (Park Avenue) by sharing the points again, 1-1 this time with Southport.
Boston United had another successful sortie to the north-west, heading home with all three points safely tucked away after beating Stockport County 2-0, and Brackey despatched nine-man Hereford by the same scoreline. The Nuneaton Town v York City match was postponed, due to international call-ups.
Seemingly-unstoppable Chorley are now seven points clear of AFC Telford United at the top of the table, with a remarkable tally of 25 points from a possible 27 so far. Bradford (Park Avenue) remain third, despite their defeat, on 17 points, and a further point and place behind are Kidderminster, who move ahead of Alfreton Town on goal difference. The remaining play-off positions are filled by Boston United, on 15 points, and Brackley, on 14.
Spennymoor are eighth, on 13 points, with York City and Leamington on 12. Four teams are grouped together on 11 points - Stockport County, Hereford, Guiseley and our conquerors on Saturday, Curzon Ashton.
Alty are 15th on nine points, ahead of Darlington on goal difference, and then we have Chester on eight and Blyth Spartans and Ashton United on seven. The relegation spots are currently occupied by Southport, on six points, and Nuneaton Town and FC United of Manchester, on five.
The biggest gate of the day was at Edgeley Park, with just over 3,000 watching them succumb to Boston, with close to 2,000 turning up at FC United and 1,700 at Chester. A gate of 1,570 witnessed Kidderminster’s win over Blyth and just over 1,200 saw Darlington stun Telford.
None of the League’s leading marksmen added to their tally on Saturday, so Jordan Hulme, who missed out due to suspension, still leads the way on seven goals, alongside Telford’s Danny Udoh, with Stenson, Ndlovu and Denton on six goals and Styche, Willoughby and Taylor on five.
Alfreton Town 0 Guiseley 1
Altrincham 0 Curzon Ashton 2
Ashton United 0 Chorley 5
Brackley Town 2 Hereford 0
Chester 5 Bradford (Park Avenue) 3
Darlington 3 AFC Telford United 0
FC United of Manchester 1 Southport 1
Kidderminster Harriers 3 Blyth Spartans 1
Leamington 0 Spennymoor Town 2
Stockport County 0 Boston United 2