2017–18 National League

The 2017–18 National League season, known as the Vanarama National League for sponsorship reasons, is the third season under English football's new title of National League, fourteenth season consisting of three divisions and the thirty-ninth season overall. [1]

The National League covers the top two levels of non-League football in England. The National League is the fifth highest level of the overall pyramid, while the National League North and National League South exist at the sixth level. The top team and the winner of the play-off of the Premier division will be promoted to English Football League Two, while the bottom four are relegated to the North or South divisions. The champions of the North and South divisions will be promoted to the Premier division, alongside the play-off winners from each division. The bottom three in each of the North and South divisions are relegated to the premier divisions of the Northern Premier League, Isthmian League or Southern League.

This is the first season to include six teams in the play-offs for each division, with the 4th-7th placed teams participating in the qualifying round and the 2nd and 3rd placed teams qualifying for the semi-finals. [2]

National League

National League
Season 2017–18
2018–19 →

The National League consists of 24 clubs.

Promotion and Relegation

The following teams changed divisions after the 2016–17 season:

A.F.C. Fylde were the first team to be promoted after a 3–0 win against Boston United F.C. on 22 April 2017 clinched them the National League North title. Maidenhead United were promoted on 29 April 2017 after a 3–0 win over Margate, returning to the league for the first time in sixteen years. Ebbsfleet United were promoted on 13 May 2017 after beating Chelmsford City 2–1 in the National League South Playoff Final, returning to the league after a four-year absence. On the same day, FC Halifax Town were also promoted after beating Chorley 2–1 in the National League North playoff final, securing them an immediate return to the league.

Leyton Orient were relegated from League Two on 22 April 2017 after their 3–0 loss to Crewe Alexandra ending their 112-year stay in the English Football League. On 6 May 2017, despite a 2–1 victory over Doncaster Rovers on the same day, Hartlepool United became the second team to be relegated from League Two following Newport County's 2–1 victory over Notts County, ending their 96-year stay in the EFL.

The six teams replace Lincoln City, Forest Green Rovers, York City, Braintree Town, Southport and North Ferriby United. Lincoln City were promoted to League Two after beating Macclesfield Town 2–1 on 22 April 2017. [3] Forest Green Rovers were promoted after beating Tranmere Rovers 3–1 in the 2016–17 National League Playoff Final on 14 May 2017. They were the league's longest serving club, completing nineteen seasons in the top-flight. This is a mantle that has now been passed to Wrexham, who enter their tenth season in the league.

After seven years in the National League and surviving relegation battles over several seasons, Southport were unable to escape the drop and they were the first team to be relegated on 21 April 2017 after a 3–0 loss to Dover Athletic. After just one season in the National League, North Ferriby United were relegated three days later after a 3–1 defeat at Barrow. On the final day of the season, Braintree Town were relegated after losing 2–0 to Aldershot, ending their six-year stay in the league, which also confirmed the clubs first relegation in their history. York City's 2–2 draw against Forest Green Rovers was also not enough to save them after Guiseley's last minute equalizer against Solihull Moors confirmed back to back relegations for the Yorkshire club.

Team changes

Stadia and locations

Locations of the 2017–18 National League clubs (Greater London clubs)
Team Location Stadium Capacity
A.F.C. Fylde Wesham Mill Farm 6,000
Aldershot Town Aldershot Recreation Ground 7,200
Barrow Barrow-in-Furness Holker Street 5,045
Boreham Wood Borehamwood Meadow Park 4,502
Bromley London ( Bromley) Hayes Lane 5,300
Chester Chester Deva Stadium 6,500
Dagenham & Redbridge London ( Dagenham) Victoria Road 6,078
Dover Athletic Dover Crabble Athletic Ground 5,745
Eastleigh Eastleigh Ten Acres 5,250
Ebbsfleet United Northfleet Stonebridge Road 4,500
F.C. Halifax Town Halifax The Shay 14,061
Gateshead Gateshead Gateshead International Stadium 11,800
Guiseley Guiseley Nethermoor Park 4,200
Hartlepool United Hartlepool Victoria Park 7,856
Leyton Orient London ( Leyton) Brisbane Road 9,271
Macclesfield Town Macclesfield Moss Rose 6,355
Maidenhead United Maidenhead York Road 3,377
Maidstone United Maidstone Gallagher Stadium 4,200
Solihull Moors Solihull Damson Park 4,313
Sutton United London ( Sutton) Knights Community Stadium 5,013
Torquay United Torquay Plainmoor 6,200
Tranmere Rovers Birkenhead Prenton Park 16,789
Woking Woking Kingfield Stadium 6,036
Wrexham Wrexham Racecourse Ground 10,771

League table

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Promotion, qualification or relegation
1 Macclesfield Town 16 10 2 4 18 15 +3 32 Promotion to EFL League Two
2 Dover Athletic 16 8 5 3 21 11 +10 29 Qualification for the National League play-off semi-finals
3 Wrexham 16 8 5 3 14 8 +6 29
4 Woking 16 9 1 6 23 21 +2 28 Qualification for the National League play-off qualifying round
5 Sutton United 16 8 4 4 22 20 +2 28
6 Bromley 16 8 3 5 24 17 +7 27
7 Aldershot Town 16 7 5 4 26 18 +8 26
8 Boreham Wood 16 7 4 5 25 19 +6 25
9 Dagenham & Redbridge 16 6 6 4 27 20 +7 24
10 Ebbsfleet United 16 5 9 2 24 19 +5 24
11 FC Halifax Town 16 6 6 4 17 15 +2 24
12 Maidenhead United 16 6 5 5 24 22 +2 23
13 Maidstone United 15 6 5 4 20 18 +2 23
14 Hartlepool United 16 6 5 5 16 16 0 23
15 Tranmere Rovers 16 5 5 6 12 12 0 20
16 Eastleigh 15 4 7 4 17 16 +1 19
17 Gateshead 16 4 6 6 19 18 +1 18
18 Leyton Orient 16 5 3 8 21 27 −6 18
19 AFC Fylde 15 3 7 5 22 25 −3 16
20 Barrow 16 2 7 7 18 21 −3 13
21 Guiseley 16 2 7 7 14 28 −14 13 Relegation to
National League North
or
National League South
22 Chester 15 2 6 7 13 23 −10 12
23 Solihull Moors 16 2 2 12 16 31 −15 8
24 Torquay United 16 1 5 10 16 29 −13 8
Updated to match(es) played on 21 October 2017. Source: National League official site
Rules for classification: 1) Points; 2) Goal difference; 3) Number of goals scored; 4) Number of matches won; 5) Head-to-head results [4]

Play-offs

  Qualifying Round     Semi Final     Final
                           
      2  
  4        
  7        
     
      3    
  5      
  6  

Results table

Home ╲ Away FYL ALD BRW BOR BRO CHR D&R DOV EAS EBB GAT GUI HAL HAR LEY MAC MDH MDS SOL SUT TOR TRA WOK WRE
A.F.C. Fylde 1–0 2–2 2–2 2–2 0–0 1–4 1–2
Aldershot Town 1–2 1–1 0–2 6–0 2–2 1–0 3–2 2–1
Barrow 2–1 0–0 0–0 2–2 1–1 0–1 1–1 3–0
Boreham Wood 2–1 1–2 1–0 0–1 1–1 2–0 4–1 0–1
Bromley 0–0 2–0 6–1 1–0 0–1 3–1 0–1 2–0
Chester 1–1 1–2 1–1 0–0 0–2 2–0 2–3 0–2
Dagenham & Redbridge 2–1 5–1 3–3 3–1 3–1 1–2 1–0 0–1
Dover Athletic 1–1 0–1 1–2 4–0 1–1 1–1 1–0 1–0
Eastleigh 2–2 0–0 2–2 3–2 0–1 1–0 2–0
Ebbsfleet United 3–3 0–2 3–2 2–2 0–0 2–0 2–0 0–0
Gateshead 0–1 1–1 1–2 3–2 1–0 0–0 3–0 3–0
Guiseley 1–1 0–0 2–2 0–1 1–2 4–2 3–2 0–0
F.C. Halifax Town 2–1 0–2 2–1 1–2 2–0 3–2 1–1 0–0
Hartlepool United 0–2 1–0 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–2 3–1 1–1
Leyton Orient 1–2 1–1 4–1 0–3 1–2 0–1 2–0 3–1
Macclesfield Town 2–1 2–0 0–0 1–0 1–0 1–1 1–4 1–3
Maidenhead United 3–3 2–1 1–1 3–0 2–1 0–1 1–0 1–2
Maidstone United 1–1 0–2 0–0 2–2 1–1 1–1 3–1 2–1
Solihull Moors 3–3 2–0 2–2 1–3 0–1 1–2 0–1 0–2
Sutton United 2–1 3–2 2–2 1–1 2–0 2–1 0–2 1–3
Torquay United 2–4 1–1 0–2 0–1 4–0 1–2 0–0 0–0
Tranmere Rovers 1–0 2–2 0–0 0–1 2–1 0–1 3–1 0–1
Woking 1–0 2–1 2–1 1–1 0–2 2–1 2–0 4–1
Wrexham 2–0 2–1 1–0 1–1 0–0 0–1 1–1 1–0

Updated to games played on 21 October 2017.
Source: The Vanarama National League
^ The home team is listed in the left-hand column.
Colours: Blue = home team win; Yellow = draw; Red = away team win.

Top scorers

As of matches played 21 October 2017 [5]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 Portugal Bruno Andrade Boreham Wood 9
2 England Corey Whitely Dagenham & Redbridge 8
3 England Oladapo Afolayan Solihull Moors 7
England Ryan Bird Dover Athletic
Zimbabwe Macauley Bonne Leyton Orient
England Dave Tarpey Maidenhead United
7 England Zavon Hines Maidstone United 6
England Danny Kedwell Ebbsfleet United
England Joe Pigott Maidstone United
England Danny Rowe AFC Fylde
England Scott Wilson Macclesfield Town
England Ben Williamson Eastleigh