As the season enters the business end, there are massive implications for every team in the next round of National League fixtures. Here is how the teams from the London & South East shape up heading into Matchday 32.
Altrincham v Dagenham & Redbridge –
The Daggers have been left in the wake when it comes to the play-off battle, but will aim to get themselves back on track with victory over Altrincham at the J. Davidson Stadium.
Following late disappointment against the ten men of Woking in midweek, Daryl McMahon will be focused on getting the Daggers back into the play-off mix as the season enters the business end.
Former AFC Wimbledon and Portsmouth striker Paul McCallum has scored twice in four appearances since returning back to full fitness, and will look to get close to his impressive tally of 16 goals from last season.
The East London outfit come up against an Altrincham side that have just one win in 16 league games, and as such are in danger of being drawn into a potential relegation battle should Weymouth continue to pick up points.
During this run, the Robins have conceded 32 goals, averaging out at exactly two goals per game. When a team is conceding twice in near enough every game, it becomes very difficult to win football matches.
Dagenham will hope they can pray on a brittle Altrincham defence and get themselves back to winning ways in Greater Manchester.
Boreham Wood v Eastleigh –
The Wood will host the Spitfires for the second time this season, following a 2-0 victory in the FA Cup 1st Round en route to the North London club’s historic journey to the 5th Round Proper.
Disappointing results against Maidenhead United and Torquay United have seen Luke Garrard’s side fall back from table-topping Stockport County.
As such, going head-to-head with an Eastleigh side who are winless in ten is probably the idea game for Boreham Wood.
This encounter is unlikely to be a high-scoring thriller, with the Wood failing to score in their previous two and Eastleigh scoring just three goals in their last seven matches.
Eastleigh have failed to win since parting companies with Manager, Ben Strevens, and will be looking for their first win under the interim stewardship of Jason Bristow.
Victory for Boreham Wood could see them rise into 2nd.
FC Halifax Town v Barnet –
The Bees make the trip to play-off chasing Halifax, once again looking to keep themselves away from danger in the event of a Weymouth resurgence.
With just one win in 12, the North London side will be desperate to get themselves back in the win column, but their trip to Yorkshire will surely prove a tough one.
Following a disappointing home result against Kings Lynn Town, a win at Halifax would certainly go a long way to uplifting the mood at the Hive.
Former Kings Lynn player Adam Marriott has three goals in his last five appearances, and will aim to continue his goal-scoring form at the Shay Stadium.
Southend United v Solihull Moors-
This game pits two of the league’s form sides against each other (3rd v 2nd).
The Shrimpers are unbeaten in ten league games, and should they continue this form, could be on for one of the greatest play-off charges in league history.
Meanwhile, Solihull are unbeaten in eight in all competitions, and have already thrust themselves into the play-off picture with great effect.
Andrew Dallas has certainly found his feet as a Solihull player, scoring nine goals in his last six matches. His goal-scoring form is sure to play a key factor if Solihull are to maintain their play-off push.
Last time out, Southend emerged from the South Coast with a point as Noor Husin’s wonderful strike cancelled out a Harry Pritchard effort. Meanwhile, the ten men of Solihull ground out a victory over Wealdstone in their last outing.
Victory for the Shrimpers could take them up into 11th and into the top half of the table for the first time since opening day.
Woking v Notts County –
The Cards have amassed just a single victory in the calendar year, and will be greatly tested at the Laithwaite Community Stadium against a Notts County side desperate for a win.
Alan Dowson’s Woking side have struggled to see out games in the new year, and as such have seen any distant hopes of a play-off push dissipate.
With the Surrey side also out of the FA Trophy, the season is in great danger of petering out in front of their eyes.
However, Woking fans will take some solace from the character shown by their side to grind out a 1-1 draw away at a very decent Dagenham & Redbridge side with just ten men. A late Inih Effiong strike ensured that the Cards would avoid their sixth defeat of 2022.
Their opponents, Notts County, have slipped out of the play-offs thanks to a disappointing turn of the month. Victories over Barnet and Eastleigh helped get the Magpies back on track, but Ian Burchnall will have been disappointed his side could only earn a point against the ten men of play-off rivals FC Halifax Town.
With Callum Roberts and Kyle Wootton combining as one of the most potent partnerships in the league, the previously leaky Cardinals’ defence will have to be on its best form to shut out their visitors from the Midlands.
Victory for Woking would ease any lingering worries of an unlikely capitulation into a relegation battle.
Wealdstone v Torquay United –
This fixture is somewhat of an oddball in the Matchday 32 lineup. A 5:15pm kick-off that is not on TV, and is being played behind closed doors.
Grosvenor Vale is going to be harking back to remnants of last season with the eerie silence of an absent crowd. This is due to emergency improvements being made to the pitch barrier fence.
The game itself is an important one for the home side, and perhaps one the part-timers would have preferred to have had fans behind them for. Sitting nine points above the drop zone, there is no immediate cause for panic for the Londoners, but with a turn of form for Weymouth, the Stones will hope to avoid being dragged into a late relegation battle.
Their opponents, Torquay, currently sit in 11th, and themselves are nine points off of the play-offs. As such, the play-offs are still an outside hope but the Gulls will hope they can manufacture a run of wins capable of hauling them into the postseason picture.
The Stones have mustered two good performances against some of the leagues best teams in Wrexham and Solihull Moors, but ultimately emerged empty handed from both of them.
Star striker Joshua Umerah has found his form again though, and will be hoping to help his side to a victory that could see them rise as high as 14th.
Here is the list of fixtures including London & South East teams for Matchday 32-
Altrincham v Dagenham & Redbridge
Boreham Wood v Eastleigh
FC Halifax Town v Barnet
Southend United v Solihull Moors
Woking v Notts County
Wealdstone v Torquay United
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