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National League North & South Promotions

In the National League, Torquay, Yeovil, Scunthorpe, and Maidstone were relegated. Ebbsfleet, Oxford City, AFC Fylde, and Kidderminster are taking their places next season. Let's take a deep dive into the promoted teams in the National League and explore what the rest of the National League can expect from them.

Ebbsfleet United

First up is Ebbsfleet United, who comfortably won the National League South this season with 103 points. Dennis Kutrieb's side are highly talented with the likes of talisman Dominic Poleon, who scored 38 goals in their campaign to win the National League South; this attack mixed with a solid defensive setup made them a nightmare for opposing teams as well as being a well drilled and heavily disciplined team, with an honourable mention to experienced keeper Mark Cousins who appeared in 43 of the 46 games for Ebbsfleet this season and provided some key saves when it mattered most during the season.

Ebbsfleet will present its fellow National League teams with a formidable challenge this upcoming season; their good teamwork and tactics will make them a force to be reckoned with this upcoming season and are sure to cause a problem to many of the teams in the National League if they can continue to build on the tactics that they implemented so well last season and as the season unfolds.

It will be intriguing to see how Ebbsfleet United will build upon their strengths and make their mark in the National League, as they can potentially emerge as a formidable contender for promotion.

Oxford City

Joining Ebbsfleet from the National League South was Oxford City, who finished 3rd in the league and saw them beat 4th place Worthing 2-0 in the playoff semi-final before thrashing 6th place St Albans City 4-0 in the final to gain promotion to the National League.

Oxford City held their own in what was a very competitive season against the rest of the playoff contenders finishing on 78 points along with Worthing and Chelmsford City; however, it would be their difference of seven goals that would help earn them 3rd place, giving them home advantage in the playoffs and one less game to play to reach the final.

It was a dominant display in the final against St Albans City, seeing them put four goals past St Albans and sealing promotion within the first 45 minutes, with the final goal coming from Oxford City's top scorer Josh Parker, who is a crucial figure for oppositions to look out for next season and will be a handful for many defences across the National League even for the most disciplined of teams.

Oxford City present a persistent threat at the top of the pitch, and going into next season in the National League, they are going to go into the season with confidence; if they can build on their exceptional attacking prowess and improve their defensive structure, they will be able to hold their own in what is the most challenging step up in non-league football. It wouldn't be a surprise if there were a few big upsets against the larger sides in the National League next season.

Afc Fylde

Afc Fylde won the National League North this season after a close title fight against Kings Lynns Town, only winning the league by two points with a final total of 95 points and a four-game winning run to help seal promotion to the National League.

Afc Fylde performed much better away from home during the season scoring in 20 out of their 23 away games and winning away 14 times during the season, in addition to conceding less when playing away from home, as they conceded 61% of goals when playing at Mill Farm.

National League defences will need to keep their wits about them when playing Afc Fylde, as they will be bringing National League North top goal scorer Nick Haughton up to the National League after having an exceptional season scoring 26 goals in 44 games for Afc Fylde, providing some crucial goals in their title race against Kings Lynn.

Additionally, they were strong in cup competitions, most notably taking on League 2 Gillingham in the FA Cup, taking the game to a replay with a 1-1 draw at home; however, they lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture.

So going into the National League, where there are some ample ex-EFL teams such as the likes of Chesterfield, Afc Fylde have proven they can hold their own against a bigger side and, similarly to Ebbsfleet, are sure to cause a few upsets next season in the National League however due to the competitive nature of the league they may still struggle and could be one of the many teams fighting for survival next season.

Kidderminster Harriers

The Kidderminster Harriers followed Afc Fylde to the National League, which saw them compete in a very competitive battle for a playoff position throughout, with 4th place Brackley Town and 13th Curzon Ashton only being separated by 4 points seeing Kidderminster achieving playoff football by 1 point.

Kidderminster endured the formidable challenge of three away playoff games; however, they managed to dispatch 5th place Alperton Town 1-0 in a closely contested match; they then took on favourites Kings Lynn Town in the semi-final where they dominated in a 4-1 win, they then travelled to Brackley Town, and an Ashley Hemmings brace sealed their promotion to the National League.

Ashley Hemmings, the saviour of Kidderminster's season, scored 3 of their goals in the playoffs and 14 goals in the season as well as Amari Morgan-Smith with 11 goals. These two players are a pair that the rest of the National League will need to look out for. Whilst they may not have finished top goal scorers of the league they are both tricky and dangerous for opposing defences, using their quick pace which has helped create many key chances for Kidderminster with both having critical goals in their playoff run.

Despite Kidderminster's attacking threat, they have had some games during the 22/23 season where they would go into their shells once they got a goal down. Their playing style was hugely affected by this and allowed many teams to capitalise on Kidderminster's mistakes last season.

Kidderminster showed last season that they could fight right until the end, such as going on a 5-game-unbeaten run at the end of the season to help achieve their playoff position; additionally, they had a robust FA Trophy run, getting to the 4th round before losing to Dorking Wanderers.

Whilst they have the capabilities to have another good run in the FA Trophy, similar to teams that just about survived in the National League, such as Dorking Wanderers and Maidenhead United, Kidderminster will struggle in the National League as in comparison to the league below the competitiveness is much more significant. However, they proved last season that they could dig deep when it matters, so whilst there will be close competition around the playoffs, the same has to be said for next season's relegation battle.

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