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National League March awards

Manager of the Month

Justin Edinburgh – Leyton Orient

If Leyton Orient do eventually go on to grab National League and FA Trophy glory, then fans should look back on March and make sure they remember.

After five very difficult and testing years, it was easily the Club’s best month since 2014. In terms of overall achievement, possibly longer.

Orient’s points haul was 16 from a possible 18, the only blot on the copybook a goalless draw at suddenly hard-to-beat Barnet.

Five league wins from six, and two more victories in the FA Trophy semi-final in both legs over AFC Telford United, means Wembley – and a lead in the title race.

Justin Edinburgh guided his side to victories at Havant & Waterlooville, Barrow and Aldershot Town. They were also successful – crucially – at home to Wrexham in the first vs second game and in E10 against AFC Fylde.

Key to their success is their manager’s ability to pull bottom lips off the floor and re-instil confidence when times get hard.

March was a month when Orient grew into the real deal in the title race after a barren February.

They have laid the foundations for the final four weeks and they are desperate to go to Wembley in the FA Trophy final in May, looking to make it a double silverware success.

Player of the Month

Carl Piergianni – Salford City

The month of March was an unforgettable one for Salford City.

Up to second off the back of six wins and six clean sheets – it was quite fitting then that the Ammies’ number six should take home the Player of the Month award.

Salford were seven points behind leaders Leyton Orient at the beginning of the month but now sit just a point off the O’s.

The defender started the month in perfect fashion, netting the winner at Ebbsfleet United before grabbing a second against Sutton United.

Graham Alexander’s men also took a point from their clash with Barnet along with important victories against fellow promotion hopefuls Harrogate Town and Solihull Moors.

Add that to wins over Aldershot Town and Bromley and things are getting interesting again as the title race hots up.

Carl Piergianni

Volunteer of the Month

Dell Ward – Boreham Wood

Dell Ward of Boreham Wood has won March’s Volunteer of the Month for the National League.

Dell began volunteering at the club in 1986 and has taken on almost every role available since; including match day assistant, turnstile operator, club shop, youth/reserve team secretary and taking care of boardroom hospitality as well as arranging multiple events such as youth tournaments.

He willingly gives his time, shunning any offer of expenses, despite the Club trying to persuade him to take something for his trouble, accepting payment in cups of coffee and travelling the country to watch his team instead.

Recently, the Club has struggled to deal with a higher volume of administration duties, so Dell immediately offered to come in for three mornings each week to help with it.

He is an extremely kind man who sets exceptional standards and an example to everyone else.

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