Indeed, even Chesterfield suffered a mini wobble, courtesy of a three-game winless run that included a rare defeat at closest rivals Bromley. Although victory on the 27th at Barnet saw them return to normality and establish a more than healthy twenty-three point lead at the summit.

The Ravens and the Bees are only separated by goal difference but it’s the North East clubs who lead the way in the current form guide. Gateshead and Hartlepool United went unbeaten through the month, until their last games, though they still occupy fifth and tenth respectively.

‘Pools’ new man at the helm Kevin Phillips has enjoyed a good start to his Victoria Park tenure and, at seven points, the gap between his team and the play-offs is certainly not insurmountable.

Meanwhile, the Heed have also progressed to the next round of the FA Trophy after they emerged victorious at North Division Hereford United. Last season’s runners-up continue on the March to the Arch as they look to go one better than 2023.

Four straight wins have propelled their conquerors of twelve months ago, FC Halifax Town up to eight place and a single point outside the top seven.

While Kidderminster Harriers’ resurgence under former Premier League Boss Phil Brown saw them exit the competition, Gateshead were the only side to take maximum points off them and their league form has seen them move to within goal difference of fifth-bottom York City. As a consequence, the axe fell on their Manager Neal Ardley, just six months into his tenure with our very own Adam “Hinsh” Hinshelwood immediately appointed in his place.

An eleven-game winless run since Christmas also cost Richard Hill his seat at the head of Easleigh’s table. Ex-Southampton goalkeeper and Assistant Manager Kelvin Davis has already had a big impact, by leading the Spitfires to two victories in his first three games following the announcement that he had been chosen to succeed Hill.

Ross McNeilly slipped relatively quietly away from fellow strugglers Dorking Wanderers, who continue to flirt with danger at the wrong end of the table. However, charismatic leader Marc White certainly won’t give up the fight, especially with one, lone point covering 23rd – 18th !

Two draws followed by three successive wins has shot Ebbsfleet United – under new Head Honcho Danny Searle – out of the relegation zone and up to seventeenth in the standings. Although a mere two points is all that’s keeping him and his men above the dreaded dotted line.

While Bromley, Barnet, Solihull Moors and Wealdstone made it a total of five NL teams in the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy, it was Oldham Athletic Chairman Frank Rothwell who stole the headlines, due to his extraordinary fundraising efforts for Alzheimer’s Research UK. In becoming the oldest man (again) to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean, at the age of Seventy-Three, three years after setting the previous record his epic three thousand mile, sixty-four day journey from the Canary Islands to Antigua has raised more than £350,000, at the time of writing !

Promotion is very much within the Latic’s grasp through the play-offs, something that Tamworth and Scunthorpe United will be keen to avoid, as they remain first and second in the North. The Lambs currently lead the Iron by a significant margin of ten points.

Despite that, however, it’s Buxton, Spennymoor Town and Chorley who fill the top three spots in the form table. Third-placed Chorley trail Scunny by six but do have a game in hand, so a Trophy defeat at home to higher-division Sollihull probably won’t cause too much concern.

Peterborough Sports are now the sole survivors in the last eight after Bishop’s Stortford made it an unwanted hat-tick of defeats for North-based clubs. Their exit at the hands of Southern Premier Central Coalville Town meant that the Turbines’ dumping out of Kidderminster ensured a record-breaking run could carry on. Three maximum point hauls collected from their last trio of league fixtures indicate it’s far from a distraction too.

One loss in five has earned Alfreton Town a place back in the leading seven sides, in a rather tight division. Four points cover the five teams within touching distance of those coveted spots, with Hereford only marginally in front.

Breathing down the Bulls’ necks are Curzon Ashton, Scarborough Athletic and South Shields; none of whom are in great form at the present time. Curzon have lost three of their last four, ‘Boro went winless in Feb and Shields have been beaten twice in their last three outings.

At the opposite end of the scale, Steve Watson’s mix of three wins combined with three defeats has seen his Darlington enseble edge slowly but surely towards safety – three points to be precise – although the honeymoon seems to have ended for new Banbury United Boss Kevin Watson. LLL doesn’t look good on anyone’s results page and, returning to where it all got going as a player back in 1979, the Puritan’s number one appears to have his work cut out; that recent slide seeing last term’s (surprise) Southern League promotees duck into the bottom four.

The term ‘Football Family’ is an oft used phrase in our national sport and it was brought home particularly in the last fortnight by followers of not just Chorley but the wider community.

Hannah Sampson, wife of striker Jack was diagnosed in December last year with triple negative breast cancer and fundraising has been gathering pace ever since. #HelpingHannah has drawn in help from all over the sporting spectrum, thanks to the likes of England ‘keeper Nick Pope, Everton defender James Tarkowski and Manchester United and England centre-half Harry Maguire joining boxing champion Tyson Fury in donating signed shirts and gloves for a recently-held auction, just one example of a variety of initiatives designed to aid the family’s cause.

Pailing into insignificance by comparison, Torquay United tumbling into administration amidst admittance from now former owner and Chairman Clarke Osborne that he is no longer in a position to fund the Club, will leave the Gulls just four points off the relegation places when the ten point penalty is levied upon them.

Manager Gary Johnson’s departure after six years in charge also results in his former Assistant Aaron Downes taking the reins, initially.

A position that Worthing’s Club Captain Aarran Racine now finds himself in following the shock departure of the long-serving Adam Hinshelwood to York. Swapping a promotion push for a relegation battle, the end of a near decade of service (over two spells) at the Sussex Transport Community Stadium naturally came as a big shock to everyone here. Undoubtedly though, if anyone can keep City in non-league’s top flight, the highly rated and highly regarded ‘Hinsh’ can and goes with more than a touch of sadness but, at the same time, the best wishes of his army of admirers. Backroom Staff, Gary Elphick and Cam Morrison follow the Boss up North to help form part of his new-look management set-up at the LNER Community Stadium.

‘Azza’ holds the fort until the end of the season and is joined by the man he replaced as Club Skip Darren Budd, who leaves Burgess Hill Town to embark on a coaching career, accompanied by ex-Brighton & Hove Albion, Leicester City and Southampton midfielder Dean Hammond, already a familiar face around the club through his work with the under eighteens.

On the flip side, Taunton Town endured a rough ride while receiving good news almost hand-in-hand ! Despite the transfer/registration embargo now representing a weight lifted off their shoulders, pitch problems at Wordsworth Drive sees them having to find room for twenty matches before the season’s conclusion. That’s because a financially welcome groundshare with Truro City has simply seen a hefty rise in postponements; a case of “it never rains but it pours”, so to speak.

A duo of defeats for Worthing arrived amidst the Braintree Town juggernaut showing no signs of slowing down. Bath City may have become the first team to breach Town’s backline in six games but a sixth win on the spin rockets the promotion hopefuls up to fourth.

That loss was City’s first in six outings and they lead a clutch of clubs level on points, with St Albans City – now under the permanent tutelage of previously Assistant Manager Jon Meakes – and Hampton & Richmond Borough both hot on their heels.

Upcoming opponents Chelmsford City have nabbed second – for now – despite a four-match winning streak coming to an end with a draw against mid-table Farnborough.

Welling United’s turnaround under the recently installed Rod Stringer is still rolling along nicely, earning them elevation out of the bottom four, a position Taunton now find themselves in albeit with four games in hand.

New tennents Truro are only a point better off but they too sit on the same number of games played as their now-landlords.

Slough Town, seemingly unnoticed, are intent on gatecrashing the promotion party. Four wins in five during an unbeaten month leaves them in eighth, four points of the coveted play-off pool.

Conversely, one win in six forces Dartford to cast a nervous eye over their shoulders, thanks to an identical gap being the only thing keeping them clear of danger. Both Taunton and Truro are able to catch them too.

The South’s interest in the 2023-24 FA Trophy may now be at an end, after division-above Barnet and Bromley accounted for Welling and Aveley but one final cup exit was greeted with an altogether different response.

The brave boys of Maidstone United, placed ninth in the standings with a game in hand on those immediately above them, demonstrated that their magnificent FA Cup run has clearly proved more of a help than a hindrance. Starting out way back in September at Steyning Town, even the most stoic of Stones fans wouldn’t have thought a journey that got underway in Sunny Sussex would eventually draw to a conclusion in Wintery Coventry. Claiming the scalps of not one, not two but THREE Football League sides, none of them will ever forget either the home wins over Barrow and Stevenage or the incredible day at Portman Road, when Championship promotion challengers Ipswich Town were vanquished. A credit to not just non-league or National League South but Kent and the whole town of Maidstone itself.