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The NLP’s Picks for the Weekend!

Alex Narey, editor

I am keeping a close eye on Chester’s visit to Stockport in National League North.

The Blues got things back on track last weekend with a dominant victory over Darlington and bosses Anthony Johnson and Bernard Morley will be desperate to get one over the Hattters tomorrow.

Stockport have endured another frustrating season after starting the campaign strongly. They play a high-pressing game but they can be picked off too easily at times, while on their day they are able to carve through even the most resolute of defences. They must be so frustrating for their faithful support.

This is a clash between two former Football League stalwarts and a big crowd will be expected at Edgeley Park. A result either way will tell you an awful lot about the two clubs and what lies ahead for them this term.

If Chester win it will only affirm my view that they are title challengers, while if Jim Gannon’s men can take the points they will be buoyed that they can live with the division’s best and mount their own charge up the table.

Jon Couch, news editor

Last Saturday’s single-goal victory over Whitby Town sent Nantwich Town to the top of Evo-Stik Northern League – but the Dabbers will have to be on their mettle if they are to stay there this weekend.

Dave Cooke’s side have only lost three times all season and have taken nine points out a possible 12 in leapfrogging Scarborough Athletic.

But on Saturday they entertain a South Shields side knocking on the door of a play-off place in their first season at Step 3 and with four games in hand can certainly make the leading contenders sweat.

With just one defeat at their Weaver Stadium home all season, Nantwich will naturally start as favourites against a Mariners side who struggle on the road. They have lost six of their nine away outings this term, complemented by a 100 per cent home record from eight matches.

You get the feeling they may have to put that right in Cheshire tomorrow if they are to stand any chance of catching the frontrunners.

David Richardson, online editor

Gary Johnson is weaving his magic again in Non-League, but now he faces his biggest test so far this season against Welling.

Since taking over at Torquay in September, Johnson is yet to taste defeat in the league which has taken them to the top of National League South.

They now boast the division’s top scorer in Jamie Reid, who netted his 13th goal of the campaign in a 2-0 win at Dartford on Tuesday evening.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for the Gulls following Gary Owers’ departure nine games into the season although Steve King’s Welling will be out to put an end to their fine form when they visit Plainmoor tomorrow.

The Wings sit two points behind Torquay, but have two games in hand and boast a manager with a highly impressive track record at Step 2.

Welling have lost just once at home which has helped propel them in the title race, can they now replicate that form on the road?

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