By Jon Couch
A BATTLE to reclaim top spot in the National League is the main attraction at Victoria Road tonight when early pacesetters Dagenham & Redbridge and Sutton United look to recover from weekend hiccups and revive their promotion.
Should leaders Dover Athletic slip up at home to Boreham Wood, then either Dagenham, in second, or Sutton, on the same points in fifth, could leapfrog them to top spot in a massively congested top nine, separated by just three points.
John Still’s Daggers were perhaps unfortunate to come away from improved Hartlepool United empty-handed on Saturday, going down 1-0, while Sutton were held 1-1 at home by Gateshead.
Another team with their eyes on top spot tonight are Wrexham, who host a Hartlepool side with their eyes on a fourth straight win.
Wrexham lie third on goal difference and would have bee sitting pretty on top had they had put away one of many chances in a goalless draw at Torquay on Saturday.
Leyton Orient put their excellent home record to test tonight when they host an FC Halifax Town side, who can also hit top spot should other results go their way.
The O’s have 10 points from their opening four matches at Brisbane Road, but the Shaymen are on a rich vein of form themselves, described as “scintillating” by manager Billy Heath after their 3-2 home win over Maidenhead on Saturday.
One team looking to rediscover the winning formula tonight are Aldershot Town, who remain just three points off the top despite taking just one point from a possible 12.
Gary Waddock’s injury-hit squad make the trip to Stonebridge Road to try an end the league’s only unbeaten start, that of Ebbsfleet United, having drawn eight of their opening nine matches.
Macclesfield Town are also in the mix, three points off the top in ninth, ahead of their visit of AFC Fylde tonight, while Tranmere Rovers will be looking to build on their last-gasp victory over Barrow on Saturday when they make the long trip down to Maidenhead United.
Eastleigh will be looking to protect their unbeaten home record when much-improved Maidstone United roll into town, while Bromley host managerless Torquay United.
The league’s other managerless club, Chester, go to Gateshead, while Woking and Solihull Moors battle for some much-needed points at the foot of the table when they go head-to-head at Kingfield.
Keep an eye on @NonLeaguePaper for our in-depth previews of the Dover vs. Boreham Wood and Barrow vs. Guiseley.