09:00AM, Saturday 14 April 2018
Two of the league’s promotion chasers will visit York Road this week, but there will be far more riding on the outcome of the fixtures for the visitors.
Dover, who have been hovering around the play-offs all season, and Sutton United, who have dropped out of title contention in recent weeks, will be desperate to get one over the Magpies to boost their own play-off prospects.
United have all but clinched their National League future after Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Woking at York Road, and, having ended their six-match winless streak, will now fancy their chances of taking some more big scalps before the season is out.
Manager Alan Devonshire certainly won’t want the season to fizzle out, and, with players playing for their futures at York Road, there shouldn’t be any reason for complacency.
Dover, who visit today, look to have a real scrap on their hands to finish in the top seven. Results this week have bumped them down to eighth, but on Saturday they edged past Torquay United thanks to a Ryan Bird penalty.
Sutton will almost certainly finish in the play-offs, but will have their eye on a top three finish to secure a home play-off semi-final berth. If the match lives up to the first half of the game that was abandoned at half-time a few weeks ago, fans could be in for a real cracker.
Poor form has seen their chase of Macclesfield fall away in recent weeks, and they’ve lost to Bromley, Fylde and Halifax since their last visit to York Road was prematurely cut short.
The Sutton game is free to all fans who book their tickets in advance.
Nicke Kabamba’s late winner for Aldershot on Saturday felt like a familiar tale of woe for the Magpies’this season.
United have dropped seven points in the final five minutes of matches this season, proving once again just how unforgiving, and cruel, this league can be.
They had a precious point ripped from them by Saturday’s late winner, and it was a similar story when the sides met at York Road when Jim Kellermann netted an injury-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw. The Magpies have also dropped points late on at Macclesfield (1-0), at home to Torquay (2-1), away to Eastleigh in December, when they drew 2-2. They also conceded twice in the final minutes of their FA Trophy replay at Stockport County and bowed out after extra-time.
On the flip side the Magpies have salvaged some late points , through Sam Barratt in the opening day draw at Maidstone (1-1), and Jake Hyde’s injury-time strikes against Dover and Macclesfield.
Sean Marks also left it until the 88th minute to score Tuesday’s winner against Woking.
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