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Best Betting Sites UK / The latest sports news with betting.co.uk / National League - Last Day Playoff and Relegation Permutations - Saturday 20th April 2024

National League - Last Day Playoff and Relegation Permutations - Saturday 20th April 2024

Publish Date:19/04/2024
Fact checked by: James Leeland

While Chesterfield comfortably won the National League with no fuss, the playoffs and relegation battles are going down to the wire. In this article, we will look at the teams chasing the top seven and those battling to survive.

Playoffs

Barnet, Bromley, Altrincham, Solihull Moors and Gateshead will be five of the teams in the playoffs. The final spot sees a three-way battle between FC Halifax, Aldershot and Southend.

FC Halifax

Currently in the driving seat is FC Halifax. Chris Millington's side are currently 7th, ahead of Aldershot on goal difference. The Shayman stormed into the playoffs after seven wins from eight between February and March.

However, Halifax have stuttered in the last week or so, failing to win any of their last three. The Shay pitch has recently fallen victim to the weather, so Halifax have had to play their last three home games at different venues.

The game at Eastleigh will be their fourth game in the space of a week, so the Shayman have a big task on their hand for one final push.

To qualify for the playoffs, they need to equal or better Aldershot's result. However, if they lose and Southend win, the Shrimpers will sneak in.

Aldershot

Inconsistency has threatened to spoil an unexpected season for the Shots. After battling to survive last year, Aldershot have been competing in and around the playoffs all season.

Tommy Widdrington, aided by the phenomenal recruitment of Jamie Hedges, has built a side to compete at the top against the odds. A run of six games without a win from March to April looked like it had spelt the end of the season for Aldershot, but a gritty 0-1 win away at Gateshead midweek has put them firmly in contention.

They travel to a Dagenham & Redbridge side who sit 15th and are without a win in three. The Daggers also rank 20th for home form. Aldershots' -9 goal difference compared to FC Halifax's +5 means Widdrington's side have to better FC Halifax's result. If Halifax wins, it's another season in the National League for The Shots.

Southend

For Southend to even be in playoff contention going into the last game of the season is a testament to the tactical nous of Kevin Maher and the fight and determination of his team.

The Shrimpers started the season with -10 points and a transfer embargo and would be 4th without these deductions. It seemed implausible weeks ago that Southend had a shot at the Playoffs but a fine run of form has seen them up to ninth.

Southend are now 15 games unbeaten and three wins on the bounce has given them a glimmer of hope. Their far superior goal difference (26) compared to FC Halifax and Aldershot means that if The Shrimpers win their final game and the two above them lose, Kevin Maher's side would take seventh place. They are currently 150/1 for promotion, but The Shrimpers have shown anything can happen this season.

Relegation

The relegation battle has been enthralling for weeks with many teams having been in danger. Slowly, teams have climbed to safety and we're left with five teams scrambling for safety.

Wealdstone

Wealdstone are 17th, two points clear of the relegation zone. With a fixture backlog, Wealdstone lost five games in a row as the semi-professional side struggled to cope with the demands of games coming thick and fast. Sam Cox stopped the rut, winning back-to-back games against Dorking and Chesterfield to create breathing room before a loss at home to Eastleigh has meant it goes down to the final day.

However, with 21st Boreham Wood hosting 19th place Ebbsfleet (level on points with Wealdstone and York), The Stones should be safe.

If Boreham Wood beat Ebbsfleet 1-0, York and Woking would have to get a point and Wealdstone would have to lose by three or more goals for the Stones to go down. However, if Boreham Wood win 1-0 and the permutations above happen, Wealdstone can still survive if York loses by more goals or Wealdstone lose 6-3, 7-4, 8-5 etc due to goals scored being used as the next determining factor after goal difference.

Basically, Wealdstone just needs a point at Oldham. If not, they need to hope Boreham Wood don't scrape past Ebbsfleet and York and Woking don't get a point AND they keep the scoreline down at Boundary Park. Confusing, I know!

York

Like Wealdstone, the Ministermen should be safe. They sit 18th, two points clear of Boreham Wood who occupy the final relegation spot.

Adam Hinshelwood has won four of his last six games, including at home to Aldershot and Chesterfield and away at third-placed Bromley. Last week's 2-0 win over Woking has put survival in their own hands.

In terms of survival permutations, they have the same goal difference and points at Wealdstone but have scored two fewer goals. Their chances of survival are the same as The Stones.

Ebbsfleet

Joining Wealdstone and York on 53 points are Ebbsfleet. However, as they face 21st-place Boreham Wood and have a slightly worse goal difference than the duo ahead of them, things look a bit tricker for the Fleet.

Things are still in Danny Searle's sides' hands as they know a point is enough. Regardless of the result in the Ebbsfleet vs Boreham Wood match, if Woking lose, Ebbsfleet are safe.

Searle has done a mammoth job in transforming this side and has one more task on his hands on the final day of the season.

Woking

Woking could never have imagined that they would be in this position this season after reaching the playoff Semi-Finals last campaign.

After popular manager Darren Sarll was dismissed, the Woking hierarchy took a risk in appointing the inexperienced Michael Doyle as manager. Things started slowly for the 42-year-old, but he has slowly steadied the ship. He has one final task on his hand - win on the final day.

They host an AFC Fylde side who are safe thanks to the fine work of Chris Beech. Due to goal difference, even a point will keep the Cardinals up, so the fortunes are massively in their favour.

Boreham Wood

Another side that wouldn't have expected to find themselves in the relegation battle after qualifying for the playoffs last year is Boreham Wood.

Luke Garrard is set to depart the club at the end of the season after nine years at the club. The 38-year-old won't be short of suitors. A run of six defeats in a row prompted the Boreham Wood owners to make this decision. Since then, they've beaten Wealdstone 4-0, Aldershot 3-0 and drew 0-0 at Rochdale - a clear sign that the players are fighting for their beloved manager.

The equation is simple for the Wood. They have to beat Ebbsfleet and they are safe. Other results are irrelevant- their destiny is in their own hands. With their mini-revival and a bigger than usual crowd expected due to the circumstances, Boreham Wood will certainly fancy their chances of a dramatic survival.

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