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National League leaders at Christmas and their final positions

We have taken a look at the National League leaders at Christmas from the past 11 years and listed their final positions.

Many teams have had the honour of being top of the table for the festive period, though we’ve seen several other teams failing to keep their number one position before slipping down the league.

Time to check out just who managed to be National League leaders at Christmas from the past 13 years and their final positions…

2023/24 – Christmas Day Leaders: Chesterfield / Champions: TBC

Chesterfield spent Christmas Day 2023 at the top of the table, storming the league, taking 59 points from 23 games played, 10 points clear and have two games in hand over second place Bromley, while Barnet are third with 46 points, Solihull fourth with 40 points.

Speaking after Chesterfield beat Aldershot 4-1 on the 23rd of December, Aldershot assistant manager, Hugo Langton, said: “Chesterfield are an excellent side. I expect them not to just win the league, but to win it very comfortably. They have got some very good players who are way above this level.”

Meanwhile, some mind games from Bromley boss Andy Woodman, who said: “Chesterfield have won the league – it’s done.

“That’s the narrative we like to keep using. The narrative from Chesterfield is that they have won the league, the narrative from everyone else in the country is that Chesterfield have won the league.

“Chesterfield are a powerhouse in this league this year, they have a good squad, a good manager and a good fanbase. It will have to take a real landslide of mishaps for them to fall away.

“So, we will go with that and just keep concentrating on ourselves, and you never know. What I will say is that no title is ever won without a challenge – and that’s what I’m hanging on to a little bit.

“We’ve had a good run to say the least, but we are not going to sit back on that and feel we have done enough.”

 
 

2022/23 – Christmas Day Leaders: Notts County / Champions: Wrexham

Leaders Notts County opened up a four-point gap at the top of the National League with victory over Gateshead, sitting with 54 points from 23 games played.

In second place was Wrexham with 50 points from 22 played, Chesterfield are in third with 43 points from 21 games, and Woking are fourth with 40 points from 22 games.

The season played out to a dramatic end, Wrexham keeper Ben Foster producing a crucial save in the 97th-minute as Wrexham beat Notts County 3-2 in April.

Wrexham won the league with 111 points, with the Magpies settling for the playoffs, but Notts County did have some scares as they made their way to the final, taking on Chesterfield, drew 2-2 after extra time, with Luke Williams’ side winning 4-3 on penalties. 

2021/22 – Christmas Day Leaders: Chesterfield / Champions: Stockport

Chesterfield had led the way, level on points (39) with second place FC Halifax Town, but had a game in hand over them.

It was to be one of the biggest battles in recent seasons for that top spot with just 9 points separating the top 10 with lots of teams with games in hand by Christmas Day.

However, Stockport were crowned champions with 94 points, Wrexham were second with 88, Solihull sat third with 87, Halifax in fourth with 84, Notts County in fifth with 82, Grimsby in 6th with 77 and Chesterfield in 7th with 74. Grimsby won the playoffs.

2020/21 – Christmas Day Leaders: Torquay United / Champions: Sutton United

The Gulls served an emphatic notice of their promotion credentials with a 6-1 demolition of Yeovil in the last game before Christmas, sitting top of the table with 35 points after 15 games played.

Sutton were hot on their heels however and didn’t give up the fight. After sitting with 26 games from 13 games played, Sutton maintained their fine run of form for the rest of the season and pipped Torquay to the title. Torquay lost the playoff final to Hartlepool. Here’s the game Sutton clinched the title…

2019/20 – Christmas Day Leaders: Barrow / Champions: Barrow

Barrow were top of the table on Christmas Day 2019, sitting with 47 points from 24 games played and had two games and points over second place Yeovil Town.

The Bluebirds battled on and made sure they wouldn’t slip up, going on to win the league with 70 points fro 37 games played.

Ian Evatt’s side were back in the EFL, 48 years after being dumped out following a vote.

Barrow lost their Football League place in 1972, despite finishing third bottom of what was then known as Division Four, when the bottom four clubs were required to submit to re-election.

Barrow were voted out of the league and replaced by Hereford United – who had finished second in the Southern League.

The process of re-election was ended in 1986 when automatic relegation to the National League – formed in 1979 as the Alliance Premier League, and subsequently the Football Conference – was introduced.

2018/19 – Christmas Day Leaders: Leyton Orient / Champions: Leyton Orient

After a troubling time in years prior to this, the O’s were determined to win themselves a place back in League Two.

Orient were top of the National League for Christmas following a home 3-1 win against Chesterfield.

They went on to impress even further in what was a tough season for promotion, and a big part in Orient going on to getting that promotion was with thanks to the late but sadly missed Justin Edinburgh, who was manager at the time. He remained the club’s boss until the time of his death in June 2019.

2017/18 – Christmas Day Leaders: Macclesfield Town / Champions: Macclesfield Town

The Silkmen pulled off one of the biggest shocks seen in recent years in the National League when they finished the season top of the pile. John Askey’s men were in pole position on the big day after drawing 1-1 at Bromley to maintain their fine season.

2017/18 – Christmas Day Leaders: Lincoln City / Champions: Lincoln City

The Imps did their title hopes no harm as they beat their closest challengers Tranmere Rovers 2-1 at Sincil Bank to extend their lead to five points.

Under the Cowley brothers, City went from strength-to-strength – finishing the season with a four point cushion at the summit.

2015/16 – Christmas Day Leaders: Cheltenham / Champions: Cheltenham

After their 1-0 win at Altrincham, the Robins kept their one-point advantage over their nearest challengers Forest Green Rovers.

January signing Dan Holman bagged 16 goals in 18 games to help Gary Johnson’s side to their title win and a return to the Football League.

2014/15 – Christmas Day Leaders: Barnet / Champions: Barnet

Barnet sat at the summit on Christmas Day of 2015 after their convincing 3-0 win over Chester at The Hive, leading the way with a seven point cushion.

John Akinde’s impressive 31-goal haul meant the Bees finished the season just a single point ahead of Bristol Rovers.

2013/14 – Christmas Day Leaders: Cambridge United / Champions: Luton Town

It was a two-horse race for most of the season in truth but Cambridge United sat in first-place on Christmas Day of 2013 with a game in hand over the Hatters.

But Luton weren’t finished yet and staged a remarkable turnaround after the turn of the year, eventually finishing 19 points clear of 2nd place Cambridge to claim the title of Champions.

2012/13 – Christmas Day Leaders: Newport County / Champions: Mansfield Town

Newport led the way on Christmas Day in 2012 with eventual winners Mansfield Town four-points off the summit.

The Stags fought back in the second-half of the season to take the title. Newport recovered however, eventually gaining promotion in the play-offs.

2011/12 – Christmas Day Leaders: Wrexham / Champions: Fleetwood Town

Wrexham led the way through the festivities in 2011 but only on goal difference. The Welsh side fell away however and eventually lost to Luton Town in the play-offs.

Fleetwood Town claimed the title, finishing five points ahead of the Red Dragons with a little help from a certain Jamie Vardy, who was sold to Leicester City for £1m.

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