Football Management & Technology

National Leagues weekend preview 2, w/c 06/09/21!

Barnet vs Grimbsy Town was the headline fixture for the last non-league weekend preview and it certainly delivered. The latter came out on top in a seven-goal thriller with Alex Hunt scoring in the 92nd minute whilst Welling United and Slough Town played out a score-draw in the National League North. Onto this weekend’s non-league preview and this struggling Barnet side feature again!

Barnet vs Eastleigh  

As previously mentioned, Barnet were on the wrong end of a 4-3 score-line last time out. This loss of course keeps them in the lower reaches of the National League table where lies their opponent for this weekend. Eastleigh are the visitors at the Hive on Saturday afternoon, the pair both sitting on a solitary point as it stands. The only two sides below the duo in question are Aldershot, who have lost every game so far and Dover Athletic, who were handed a points deduction. To see a historic EFL club like Barnet wallowing painfully once again in the National League is surreal in truth.

Eastleigh took the lead in less than sixty seconds in their last outing via an own goal and this National League clash ended 3-3. One of the players who scored at the right end was Harry Pritchard, formerly of Blackpool and Bradford. Seeing someone of this calibre in the National League is very exciting. On the other hand, Barnet will be without fullback Josh Doherty following his dismissal against Grimsby, he himself enjoyed time in the EFL with the likes of Crawley Town and Colchester United. Will we see yet another high-scoring thriller in the National League?

Kidderminster Harriers vs Gateshead

Dropping down to the National League North and promotion hopefuls Kidderminster Harriers and Gateshead go head-to-head. The pair both drew last weekend against Guiseley and Southport respectively, both on the road. That being said though, Gateshead went away from home in mid-week again to play Leamington. Cedwyn Scott gave them the lead but second half goals from Kelsey Mooney and Jack Lane saw them leave Warwickshire empty-handed. Could this extra game along with the travel prove costly?

Playing three away games in seven days is ridiculous really, yet this is the reality of the National League North and other levels of the non-league tree. This is hardly a short trip for Gateshead either, from their home stadium to that of Kidderminster (Aggborough Stadium) is over 200 miles. As it stands, Kidderminster are in third with Gateshead down in sixth- prior to that mid-week loss the pair were both unbeaten.  

Maidstone United vs Concord Rangers

Finally then to the National League South and we remain in the upper reaches of the league table. Dartford have won all five games to date and they host Tonbridge Wells, but second and third are under the microscope here. Concord Rangers have a 3-1-1 record and they will visit Maidstone United who have four wins and a draw to their name. Obviously, the last season was curtailed amidst the pandemic but neither Maidstone or Concord were setting the National League South alight up to that point. Both were comfortably mid-table and thus this full season presents a second opportunity.

There is one name in the Maidstone ranks that sticks out and having scored in back-to-back games, the man in question is clearly on form. Roarie Deacon is a well-known talent up and down the football hierarchy, this sprouting from his time with Arsenal. He graduated from the Gunners’ academy but was unable to make a breakthrough into the first-team. He went on to play for the likes of Sunderland and Crawley before landing at Sutton United, a club who enjoyed a historic FA Cup run during his time there. In a fascinating turn of events, Sutton’s FA Cup dreams were actually extinguished by Arsenal, a familiar foe for Deacon. Back to his current side though and Maidstone certainly have big ambitions, the same which can be said for Concord Rangers in truth. The fact that Roarie Deacon is still just twenty-nine is baffling really and so he can surely continue to be a key player in the National League South going forward, a level that many would say is below his true abilities.

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