As the season hurtles towards its conclusion, the fate of plenty of clubs hangs in the balance, and here are five of the biggest talking points from this weekend’s National League, National League North and South action.

By Amos Murphy

Brackley Town Gateshead

Credit: Glenn Alcock

Boreham Wood rot continues as Garrard searches for root killer

It wasn’t too long ago Boreham Wood were celebrating into the South Coast night, having booked their place in the FA Cup fourth round.

Ever since that victory against Championship Bournemouth, Boreham Wood have won just two matches from their next 12 outings, as Luke Garrard begins to question where it all went wrong.

Before their slump in form, promotion to the Football League was in Boreham Wood’s hands, but heading into the final weeks of the campaign, the Hertfordshire-based outfit face an uphill task to even reach the playoffs.

A disappointing defeat at home to 10-man Woking was the latest in a long line of torrid results for Boreham Wood, who are now without a victory in their last six National League matches.

While they do boast three games in hand over the majority of their playoff rivals, Boreham Wood’s current position of eighth is four points behind seventh-placed Grimsby. Troublesome times for the Wood Army.

Dover targeting positive points as they drag themselves off the cliff

It’s been a horrid campaign for Dover Athletic. Having started the season on minus 12 points, the Whites were destined for the drop before a ball was even kicked.

Despite having to wait a year between league victories, Dover’s relegation to the National League South wasn’t confirmed until their mid-March defeat at home to Yeovil Town.

January’s 1-0 win over Eastleigh remains their only victory of the season so far, having lost a remarkable 28 of their 35 matches this season.

However, with just a handful of games remaining, Dover’s quest to finish the campaign in positive points looks as if it may come true.

A 1-1 draw against fellow relegation dead-certs King’s Lynn Town left Dover three points over a positive tally. While it may seem rudimentary, it’s perhaps the best possible outcome for the Whites this season.

Brackley the real deal as Gateshead glory begins to fade

After what at one point had been a five-horse race for the National League South title race, the fight to be promoted into the fifth tier has been whittled down to two sides.

Having gone into the weekend with a three points gap over chasers Brackley Town, Gateshead knew a win against the Saints would go a long way to securing the title.

Instead, James Armson's penalty nine minutes from time secured a late victory for Brackley, who now move level on points with Gateshead at the top.

While the Heed remains top due to their superior goal difference, Brackley has the chance to move into first, should they win their game in hand.

With eight matches of the campaign left, Brackley are now the side with the momentum and looking the most likely to be playing National League football next season.

Maidstone cruising, but Dorking not letting up in the National League South

In another topsy-turvy promotion battle, Maidstone United lead the way in the National League South, but Dorking Wanderers refuse to let them go up without a fight.

Flexing their promotion-contender muscles at home to Slough Town, Dorking brushed aside the Rebels, while dancing their way to a 5-0 victory.

What would be a standout win on any other weekend, the thumping was dampened somewhat by Maidstone’s equally impressive 4-0 victory over Havant & Waterlooville.

The triumph keeps Maidstone four points clear of Dorking at the top of the table, with time running out for the second-placed outfit to bridge the gap.

A run of four straight defeats and just one defeat from the last seven has many tipping Maidstone for the league title, as they look to secure promotion to the National League.

No, York City aren’t massive, but they may still get promoted

With Wembley beckoning, an in-form York City side gave up three second-half goals, throwing away their FA Trophy semi-final against Bromley in the process.

Heading into the tie Bromley were winless in five, whereas the Minstermen had lost one of their previous 14 outings.

It wasn’t to be for York, whose focus now returns to securing promotion from the National League North, six seasons after dropping out of the fifth tier.

Only the top two teams in the division have taken more points from their last 15 matches, as York eye up a place in the playoff semi-finals.

Boasting two games in hand, York will be keen to put the Trophy defeat behind them and head into the playoffs as the form side.


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