Non-league football is fast-paced, skilful, competitive and exciting, so it’s hardly surprising that more and more football fans are turning away from the EFL and finding what they’re looking for in the grass roots. Attendances are growing across the leagues, and in the National League itself fans are being rewarded with one of the closest battles in recent history. Just who will lift the crown and head into the football league pyramid with a trophy to their name? Here we look at three of the main contenders, and some outsiders who could still have their eyes on the prize.
Leyton Orient have certainly had their ups and downs in recent years, from a proposal to move their ground to Wembley to financial difficulty and an exit from the league. Things are certainly moving in the right direction for them however, as they now find themselves at the summit of the National League and with a significantly better goal difference than their rivals. Unibet Football Betting, the specialists in non-league football betting and other sports betting, have Orient as slight odds on favourites for the title, but there’s still lots of great value to be found in the teams just below them.
Welsh football is on the up again, with Newport County back in the league, Cardiff City in the Premiership and Swansea City having enjoyed a sojourn there too. Wrexham fans must have felt left behind by this resurgence, but could their day be about to arrive? Wrexham are joint second favourites with Unibet and second in the table, so could Bryan Hughes get the North Wales dragon roaring again after 11 years in the non-league?
Unlike the two teams just above them in the National League table, Solihull Moors have never been a member of the Football League itself, but the joint second favourites for the title know that the crown, and promotion is within their grasp. The club is only 12 years old, having been formed by a merger between Moor Green and Solihull Borough, but with the confidence of youth, they are making a rapid ascent.
With such a tight fight at the top of the National League, teams including AFC Fylde, Gateshead, Harrogate Town and Salford City could yet win the title, and even if they fail in this bid, they can still achieve promotion through the non-league play offs. Salford City have been drawing attention from the media, particularly because of the involvement in the club of many of Manchester United’s ‘class of 92’ legends. David Beckham invested in the club earlier this year, and this most celebrated of co-owners could give the club, its players and fans a boost as the run-in approaches.
Less than ten points separate the top of the table side, Leyton Orient, from the eighth placed side, Eastleigh, so this year’s National League renewal is heading down to the wire. That means there’s great potential for betting on the winner, and it also means that the interest of fans will be held until the last kick of the season.