Trailblazers: Blue Square Bet Premier
With five games having already been played by the majority of teams in the Blue Square Bet Premier division, the league is already starting to take shape with Welsh side Newport County currently topping the table on 12 points as they bid to become the fourth side from the principality to represent Wales in the Premier and Football League.
Justin Edinburgh’s Exiles have played a game less than their closest challengers Macclesfield Town but have won all four of their games including a rampant 4-0 victory over Nuneaton Town on match day two.
Aaron O’Connor looks an inspired addition and the much-travelled 29-year-old forward has already struck five goals for Newport since his summer arrival from fellow Blue Square Bet Premier side Luton Town.
Promotion favourites Macclesfield Town have adjusted to life in the non-league rather smoothly as last season’s relegation looks to have only served the Silkmen well in terms of hunger to return to the Football League.
Now managed by Steve King, the Moss Rose-based side have played a game more than Newport but have managed to amount 12 points courtesy of four straight wins following the initial opening day disappointment of defeat at Hereford United.
Making up the play-off positions alongside Macclesfield are usual suspects Hereford United in fourth and Luton Town in fifth but Forest Green Rovers are making a real go of it in third place currently.
The so-called ‘little club on the hill’ are on 11 points and remain undefeated after five games, beating AFC Telford, Woking and basement boys Kidderminster whilst securing draws at home to Cambridge United and away at Gateshead respectively.
The Nailsworth-based side were outsiders for promotion following a tenth-placed finish last term but are surprising a few at present.
Rather less surprising is the presence of last season’s League Two relegated Hereford United who rank fourth on ten points after three wins and a draw. Martin Foyle’s Bulls have substantial knowledge of the non-league having successfully negotiated the Conference in 2005/6.
Closely following them on ten points with five games played are many peoples promotion favourites Luton Town who are taking up a similar position in the Blue Square Bet table as they usually do, but ultimately will be hoping 2012/13 is their year after missing out in the promotion final to York City in May.
Striker Stuart Fleetwood (pictured) of Luton is the league’s current top scorer on six goals and the Welshman will be hoping his hot vain continues alongside the stellar striking cast of Andre Gray, Scott Rendell and Jon Shaw.
The expectation on the Hatters is massive given their traditions, massive support and history and despite a disappointing 2-2 home draw with Gateshead on the opening day in which the squad were booed off, Paul Buckle’s side have responded well winning three times on the road against Kidderminster, Hyde and Ebbsfleet.
Perhaps the pressure of the home crowd at Kenilworth Road is too much at present as the club still seek a first home win following AFC Telford’s victory in Luton on match day four.
Tamworth join the Hatters on ten points and are marginally out of the play-off spots courtesy of statistical inferiority.
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