Last weekend’s non-league line-up was rather bare with a lot of teams out of action in the upper reaches. The previous non-league weekend preview was headlined by Chesterfield vs Torquay United, a high-scoring affair that played out in front of the BT Sport cameras. On from that, the likes of AFC Fylde and Dorking Wanderers feature this week!
Dover Athletic vs Barnet
Starting this non-league weekend preview at the highest level, in the National League, with a bottom of the table clash. Between them, Dover and Barnet have just one win between them with ten games played each. Dover’s point deduction brought them into the season on a very low ebb and things still aren’t looking up, drawing three games and losing the other seven to date. Their chances at survival are minimal to say the least and a game like this, against closest competitors Barnet, is major if they’re to stay up.
Barnet’s last three National League games have seen them win once and draw twice which could potentially suggest that they may still turn it around. The solitary win came when Weymouth visited the Hive, this being followed by a 0-0 draw with Halifax and then a 1-1 against Kings Lynn away from home. Back to Dover and their non-league woes were at a disappointing peak last weekend at Blundell Park, the home of Grimsby Town. Centre-back Luke Waterfall, formerly of Grimsby, scored a brace as Grimsby put six unanswered goals past Dover, striker Ryan Taylor also bagging a double. Barnet and Dover have both had a tough time of it so far this campaign and this game could play a major part in the pair’s potential comeback.
Alfreton Town vs AFC Fylde
From teams struggling in their respective non-league division to those that are high-flying. There is just one team remaining that is undefeated in the National League North and that is AFC Fylde, who face a tough trip this weekend. Alfreton Town is the destination and they are yet to draw, winning four and losing four so far this term. Three of those four wins have come recently for Alfreton, beating Telford United and Leamington on home soil before winning away, in their previous outing, against Farsley Celtic.
Fylde on the other hand have just remained consistent to date. They began the campaign with four wins, drew with Kettering Town and then added a further six points to their tally. One of the many positives to this team under Jim Bentley, who managed Morecambe for eight years, is the spread of goals. Names such as Joe Piggott, Stephen Dobbie, Nick Haughton and Alex Whitmore have all chipped in with two or three across the pitch as they bid to take the next step up in the non-league ladder.
Dorking Wanderers vs Bath City
Finally then to a mid-table duo in the National League South, Dorking Wanderers and Bath City. The pair both lost their last non-league games against Tonbridge Angels and Maidstone United respectively, two teams with very different fortunes so far. Dorking are currently thirteenth, one position and point behind Bath, both having played seven games. Starting with Dorking and they have been fairly defensively porous this season, conceding twelve goals in their last six. The same can be said for their opponents this weekend in truth, Bath shipping fourteen goals in the same stretch of games.
In general, Dorking and Bath’s form has been almost mirrored, when one wins the other wins and then more often than not, the same for draws and losses. Bath City have a young striker called Alex Fletcher who went to the same school as me and played for my beloved Plymouth Argyle. He never really got the chance to breakthrough on the pitch for Argyle under Derek Adams and when he did feature, he seemingly lacked the presence/physicality to cut his teeth at that level. The 22-year-old had a few loans away from Home Park before joining Tiverton Town permanently and after scoring more than a goal a game, here he is at Bath. With three goals to his name already this season, Fletcher could be a young player to watch in the non-league system going forward.