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National League | North clubs travel 53 miles per match more than South

National League North clubs travel on average 53 miles more per match than their National League South counterparts, Non League Daily can reveal.

National League North South travel

By Amos Murphy

National League North clubs travel more

National League North sides travel over 50 miles one-way per match more than clubs in the National League South, research reveals.

Split into two divisions, English football’s sixth tier divides 43 teams into regionalised tiers, based on their rough North or South location.

However, teams in the Northern section of tier six are forced to disproportionally travel more on average per match than those in the Southern section.

Gap between North and South distances

With clubs in the North-East and the South coast, there is no surprise that there are some discrepancies in the distance clubs are made to travel.

Yet, take the most Northerly side in Blyth Spartans, whose average distance per match in the National League North weighs in at 167 miles.

By contrast, the most miles on average per match travelled by a National League South club weighs in at 126 miles, completed by Somerset-based Bath City.

What’s more, the smallest average distance travelled by a club in the National League South comes in at 47 miles for South London based Dulwich Hamlet.

That’s half the total of the National League North’s least travelled side, with Farley Celtic’s 94 miles on average the lowest in that division.

Overall, clubs in the National League North travel on average 123 miles per match, compared to the 70 miles for sides in the National League South.

North clubs across division hit with big distances

It isn’t just Blyth Spartans who have clocked up the miles in the National League North, with various clubs forced to travel long distances per match.

Hereford face Blyth Spartans in the longest trip of the season, with the pair travelling a round trip of 558 miles for their clash – a distance that clocks in at over 1000 miles for just two games of the campaign.

Other sensational distances travelled for matches include Gloucester City and Gateshead’s 530-mile round trip, whilst Spennymoor Town vs Hereford comes in at a staggering 245 miles for just one trip.

In terms of a total number of miles travelled by each club, Blyth Spartans unsurprisingly take the crown with over 3500 miles covered across the course of a season.

Elsewhere, both Hereford and Gateshead come in over 3000 miles, whilst Alfreton, Kettering Town and Spennymoor Town all rack up over 2900 miles.

Slender distances travelled by South clubs

When compared to the distances covered in the National League South, the discrepancies start to speak for themselves, with the division’s longest travellers in Bath City one of just two teams to clock up over 2000 miles.

The other being Chippenham Town at 2284 miles for the campaign, whilst Dulwich Hamlet don’t even break the 1000 miles barrier, as their season total comes in at 933 miles.

Rather surprisingly, no fixture in the National League South takes more than 200 miles to get to one-way, with the longest match in the division Eastbourne Borough vs Bath City at 173 miles.

One side dealt a few long-distance clashes are Chippenham Town, who travel 148 miles one-way to face Ebbsfleet United, and 146 miles to play Maidstone United.

Ramifications for clubs putting the miles in

In a sporting context, there are few entities that have struggled more in the pandemic than non-league clubs, with budgets slashed up and down the country in a bid to survive.

Just last year clubs across non-league were concerned about not being able to finish the season due to expenses related with travel costs.

Fast forward almost a year and with the price of fuel on the rise nationwide, long-distance travel disproportionately affects clubs in the National League North.

Add into the mix that supporters will also have to travel the same distances, should they wish to support their club, and issues arise for those with regular 200+ mile journeys.

Full list of average journey for each club

National League North:

TeamTotal Miles Per SeasonAverage Journey Per Match
AFC Fylde2401114
AFC Telford2437117
Alfreton209299
Blyth Spartans3574167
Boston United2971141
Brackley Town2951142
Bradford PA206697
Chester2347111
Chorley2148101
Curzon Ashton200095
Darlington2712129
Farsley Celtic197994
Gateshead3300157
Gloucester City3203152
Guiseley200695
Hereford3166150
Kettering Town2833134
Kidderminster Harriers2429121
Leamington2608124
Southport2402114
Spennymoor Town2864136
York City2330110

National League South:

TeamTotal Miles Per SeasonAverage Journey Per Match
Bath City2514126
Billericay Town119160
Braintree Town157779
Chelmsford City132066
Chippenham Town2284115
Concord Rangers131966
Dartford105853
Dorking Wanderers110956
Dulwich Hamlet93347
Eastbourne Borough169885
Ebbsfleet United110355
Hampton & Richmond108657
Havant & Waterlooville173387
Hungerford Town173187
Maidstone United161463
Oxford City114981
Slough Town118657
St Albans City119659
Tonbridge Angels119660
Welling United121458

All distances calculated on a one-way journey for each sides.

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