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
Champions Macclesfield Town
Promoted Macclesfield Town
Tranmere Rovers
Relegated Chester
Guiseley
Torquay United
Woking

The National League consisted of 24 clubs.

Promotion and Relegation

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

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, 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
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
Fylde Wesham Mill Farm 6,000
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) Gander Green Lane 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 (C) 46 27 11 8 67 46 +21 92 Promoted to EFL League Two
2 Tranmere Rovers (P, O) 46 24 10 12 78 46 +32 82 Qualified for the National League play-off semi-finals
3 Sutton United 46 23 10 13 67 53 +14 79
4 Boreham Wood 46 20 15 11 64 47 +17 75 Qualified for the National League play-off qualifying round
5 Aldershot Town 46 20 15 11 64 52 +12 75
6 Ebbsfleet United 46 19 17 10 64 50 +14 74
7 Fylde 46 20 13 13 82 56 +26 73
8 Dover Athletic 46 20 13 13 62 44 +18 73
9 Bromley 46 19 13 14 75 58 +17 70
10 Wrexham 46 17 19 10 49 39 +10 70
11 Dagenham & Redbridge 46 19 11 16 69 62 +7 68
12 Maidenhead United 46 17 13 16 65 66 −1 64
13 Leyton Orient 46 16 12 18 58 56 +2 60
14 Eastleigh 46 13 17 16 65 72 −7 56
15 Hartlepool United 46 14 14 18 53 63 −10 56
16 Halifax Town 46 13 16 17 48 58 −10 55
17 Gateshead 46 12 18 16 62 58 +4 54
18 Solihull Moors 46 14 12 20 49 60 −11 54
19 Maidstone United 46 13 15 18 52 64 −12 54
20 Barrow 46 11 16 19 51 63 −12 49
21 Woking (R) 46 13 9 24 55 76 −21 48 Relegated to National League South
22 Torquay United (R) 46 10 12 24 45 73 −28 42
23 Chester (R) 46 8 13 25 42 79 −37 37 Relegated to National League North
24 Guiseley (R) 46 7 12 27 44 89 −45 33
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]
(C) Champion; (O) Play-off winner; (P) Promoted; (R) Relegated.

Play-offs

  Qualifying round     Semi-finals     Final
                           
      2 Tranmere Rovers 4  
  5 Aldershot Town 1 (4)     6 Ebbsfleet United 2    
  6 Ebbsfleet United 1 (5)         2 Tranmere Rovers 2
      4 Boreham Wood 1
      3 Sutton United 2    
  4 Boreham Wood 2     4 Boreham Wood 3  
  7 Fylde 1  

Qualifying round

Semi-finals

Final

Results table

Home \ Away[1] 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 7–1 1–0 2–2 2–2 1–1 2–2 3–1 2–2 1–1 0–0 2–1 2–0 3–3 0–1 6–0 1–4 3–0 1–1 2–1 2–0 5–2 1–2 2–0
Aldershot Town 2–1 1–1 2–0 1–1 1–2 1–1 0–2 0–2 0–0 1–0 6–0 0–1 2–1 2–2 1–2 1–0 1–1 1–0 2–2 3–2 2–1 3–1 2–0
Barrow 1–3 3–1 2–1 0–3 1–2 0–1 0–0 3–2 0–1 1–1 0–0 0–0 1–2 2–2 0–2 1–1 0–1 1–2 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–0 1–1
Boreham Wood 1–0 2–1 0–0 2–2 4–2 1–2 2–3 1–0 0–1 2–1 3–1 1–1 0–0 2–0 0–2 1–1 1–0 4–1 0–4 2–0 2–1 2–1 0–1
Bromley 0–1 0–2 0–0 3–2 1–1 3–1 2–2 0–0 4–2 0–0 2–1 3–0 2–0 6–1 1–1 2–3 2–2 1–0 0–1 3–1 0–1 2–0 1–1
Chester 1–1 0–0 3–2 1–2 3–2 0–4 0–2 3–1 1–1 1–3 0–2 0–0 1–1 0–1 0–2 2–0 1–3 1–0 2–3 0–2 0–2 0–2 0–1
Dagenham & Redbridge 2–0 0–2 2–1 2–3 5–1 3–2 1–0 1–2 3–3 3–1 3–2 3–1 4–2 0–0 1–0 1–0 2–1 1–3 1–2 1–0 0–4 1–1 0–1
Dover Athletic 0–1 1–2 1–1 0–1 1–2 4–0 1–0 2–0 1–1 3–2 2–1 0–0 4–0 1–0 2–0 1–1 2–2 1–0 0–1 1–0 0–1 3–1 1–0
Eastleigh 2–2 0–0 0–2 0–2 4–4 2–2 2–2 2–1 0–1 3–2 4–2 0–0 4–3 0–0 0–2 2–2 0–1 1–2 1–0 1–1 2–0 2–2 1–1
Ebbsfleet United 3–3 0–2 3–2 0–3 2–1 0–1 1–1 2–1 2–2 0–0 4–0 2–0 3–0 2–1 2–2 1–1 2–0 1–0 0–1 0–1 0–0 2–1 3–0
Gateshead 1–2 0–1 1–2 1–1 1–2 3–2 0–0 0–0 2–0 2–5 1–0 0–0 2–2 1–3 3–0 7–1 2–1 2–2 0–2 3–0 1–0 1–1 0–0
Guiseley 1–0 1–1 0–1 0–0 0–1 1–1 3–5 1–1 0–0 2–2 0–1 1–1 0–1 1–3 1–2 1–3 0–0 4–2 0–2 3–2 0–0 1–2 0–2
F.C. Halifax Town 2–1 0–2 0–1 2–1 2–1 4–0 2–1 1–2 3–3 1–2 2–2 2–0 2–0 1–2 1–4 3–2 0–2 0–0 2–1 1–1 0–2 0–0 0–0
Hartlepool United 0–2 0–2 1–0 0–0 2–1 1–1 1–0 0–1 1–2 0–1 2–2 0–1 4–0 1–0 1–2 1–2 3–1 0–1 1–1 1–1 1–1 3–2 0–2
Leyton Orient 1–2 2–3 4–1 0–0 0–1 2–2 2–0 1–1 1–1 1–1 0–2 4–1 0–3 1–2 0–1 0–1 2–0 3–1 4–1 0–1 1–1 3–0 1–0
Macclesfield Town 2–1 2–0 3–1 0–0 0–0 1–0 2–0 1–0 1–2 1–0 1–0 2–1 2–1 1–1 1–1 1–0 1–4 0–0 1–0 1–1 2–2 1–3 4–1
Maidenhead United 1–2 3–3 0–1 2–1 5–2 3–0 1–1 3–2 3–1 1–1 0–3 3–0 0–0 2–1 0–1 1–1 0–0 1–0 2–1 1–2 1–0 2–1 1–2
Maidstone United 1–0 1–1 0–1 0–4 0–2 1–0 0–0 2–2 2–3 1–2 2–2 1–1 0–0 1–2 0–2 2–2 1–1 1–1 1–0 1–0 2–3 3–1 2–1
Solihull Moors 0–4 0–0 3–3 0–0 2–0 2–0 2–2 3–2 1–4 1–3 1–1 3–1 0–1 1–2 1–0 0–1 3–1 1–0 0–2 1–1 0–2 3–0 0–0
Sutton United 2–1 2–1 3–2 1–1 0–3 3–2 2–1 2–2 2–0 0–0 1–1 4–0 3–2 1–1 2–0 2–1 0–2 1–3 1–0 0–1 1–3 2–0 1–1
Torquay United 1–3 0–0 3–1 2–4 0–4 1–1 0–3 0–2 1–2 1–1 1–1 3–4 1–0 0–2 3–0 0–1 4–0 0–1 1–2 2–3 0–0 2–1 0–0
Tranmere Rovers 4–1 2–0 1–0 2–2 1–0 0–0 2–0 0–1 3–1 3–0 4–2 4–0 4–2 1–2 2–1 1–4 3–2 4–0 1–2 0–1 3–0 3–1 0–1
Woking 1–0 1–2 1–2 0–0 0–2 1–0 1–0 1–2 2–1 1–0 2–1 2–3 1–3 1–1 0–2 2–3 1–1 4–4 2–1 2–0 4–1 0–1 2–2
Wrexham 0–0 2–2 3–3 0–1 2–0 2–0 1–2 0–0 2–1 2–0 1–0 1–1 1–1 0–0 2–2 0–1 2–0 1–0 1–0 1–1 4–0 2–2 1–0

Updated to games played on 28 April 2018.
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 14 April 2018[5]
Rank Player Club Goals
1 England Andy Cook Tranmere Rovers 24
England Danny Rowe AFC Fylde
3 Zimbabwe Macauley Bonne Leyton Orient 22
4 Portugal Bruno Andrade Boreham Wood 19
England James Norwood Tranmere Rovers
6 England Josh Rees Bromley 16
7 England Ryan Bird Dover Athletic 15
England Danny Kedwell Ebbsfleet United
8 England Louis Dennis Bromley 13
England Chris Holroyd Wrexham