A look ahead to the key fixtures in Step Two

National League North
The one thing left to be decided in the National League North is which team will occupy the all important final play-off position. After winning their last four league games, Bradford PA are currently in pole position. The Avenue may be forced to nervously look over their shoulders however as they face a tough trip to fourth-placed Kidderminster.
Goal difference is all that separates Bradford and Spennymoor. John Ainsley’s side missed a huge opportunity to move into the play-off positions on Thursday night after they could only muster a 1-1 draw against bottom club North Ferriby. The Moors will have to quickly put that result behind them as they face their third game of the week against Southport at The Brewery Field on Saturday.
Two points behind, in ninth-place, are Blyth Spartans. The Spartans have kept their faint play-off hopes alive with two wins in their last three games but look to have left it too late. Alun Armstong’s side face a trip to Nuneaton on Saturday knowing that anything less than a win will extinguish their remaining play-off hopes.
Martin Gray’s York are also two points adrift of the play-off positions. The Minstermen have seen their promotion hopes diminish after enduring a torrid run of form, in which they have lost four of their last five league games. Gray’s side will need to win at high flying Brackley and hope a host of other results go in their favor if they are to make it to the play-offs.
National League South
The race for the National League South title has gone right down to the wire. After their emphatic 6-1 win over East Thurrock on Wednesday, Havant & Waterlooville moved back to the summit of the table. The Hawks face 17th place Concord Rangers at West Leigh Park on Saturday.
Despite being at the top of the table a win for Havant will not necessarily guarantee them the title. This is because second-placed Dartford are trailing by a goal difference deficit of just three goals.  Tony Burman’s side have been on a remarkable run of eight straight victories and will be extremely confident of extending this run at bottom club Bognor Regis on what promises to be a dramatic day.
The race for the final play-off position is also finely balanced. The battle looks set to be a two horse race between Braintree and St Albans. Braintree have won four of their last five league games and currently sit a point above St Albans in the coveted seventh-position. Brad Quinton’s side know that victory at home to Gloucester on Saturday will confirm their position in the end of season play-offs.
St Albans will be waiting in the wings in case of any slip ups. Ian Allinson’s side fell to a damaging defeat at home to Hampton & Richmond last weekend and will need to pick up maximum points at Bath on Saturday to keep their play-off hopes alive.
At the other end of the table, Hungerford and Poole are locked in a battle to stay in the division. Neil Warrick’s Hungerford are sitting a point above the drop zone but have lost their last six league games. The Crusaders face a trip to 15th-placed East Thurrock on Saturday.
Poole gave their survival hopes a real boost after picking up seven points in their last four games. This decent run of form has put them within touching distance of Hungerford and The Dolphins know that victory at home to Oxford City on Saturday could complete the great escape.

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