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Vanarama National League Announce December Awards……

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The Vanarama National League manager of the month for December is John Askey.

Askey has masterminded a near perfect month for league leaders Macclesfield Town.

A victory at Hartlepool United came with two goals in the final 5 minutes, before Scott Wilson’s hat-trick versus Wrexham took the side top of the table.

Two home wins over FC Halifax Town and second-place Sutton United has given the Silkmen a healthy six-point lead over their nearest rivals.

After accumulating more points than any other side in December, the accolade heads to Moss Rose.

Connor Jennings of Tranmere Rovers wins the December player of the month award for the Vanarama National League.

Following the disappointment of losing in the Promotion Final at Wembley in May, Tranmere struggled in the early stages of the new campaign.

Inconsistent form and a lack of goals saw Micky Mellon’s side spend the majority of the opening four months of the season in the bottom half of the table.

Connor Jennings

But December has proved to be the month where Rovers’ promotion bid has gotten right back on track, with Connor Jennings finding the net in four winning causes.

Jennings epitomises the change in fortunes, scoring 6 goals league, despite failing to find the net before the start of the month.

The forward’s key influence earns him the award, and makes Tranmere the side to keep an eye on during the second half of the season.

Craig Elliott of Boston United is December`s manager of the month for the Vanarama National League North.

The new Boston boss could not have asked for a better start to life in sixth-tier football.

Craig Elliott

Maximum points during December saw the Pilgrims move out of the relegation zone and seven places up the table.

Elliott’s side showed great resilience to earn two wins at home to Southport and York City after going behind.

The year ended with two further victories against Alfreton Town and Gainsborough Trinity- sides they’d leap-frogged during the impressive start to the new regime- to receive a well-deserved manager of the month award.

Tom Greaves of FC United of Manchester wins December`s player of the month award for the Vanarama National League North.

Few have been able to master the player-manager role, but FC United`s Tom Greaves seems to be doing just that.

Tom Greaves

During his first full month in charge since taking over permanently from Karl Marginson, Greaves led his side to three points in matches against the top two in the division, scoring the winning goal in both matches.

December also saw the 32-year-old bring up his century of goals for the club, becoming the club’s record goalscorer in the process.

An unbeaten month against four of the clubs in the top six will give Greaves confidence his side can pick up points against anyone in the National League North.

Alan Dowson of Hampton & Richmond Borough is December`s manager of the month for the Vanarama National League South.

It has been another exciting month in the National League South, with very little breathing space between the top sides in the division.

Alan Dowson

But the Beavers extended their unbeaten run to seventeen matches, stretching back to August.

Dowson had been unfortunate not to claim the award in previous months, but wins against Westons-super-Mare and East Thurrock United earn the manager the prize for December.

With few points separating the many sides challenging for the top seven places, the National League South will make for excellent viewing in 2018.

Rob Sinclair of Oxford City receives the top player award for December in the Vanarama National League South.

Oxford City’s excellent Emirates FA Cup run ended in December after an agonising last-minute defeat away at League Two Notts County.

Many thought the way in which they conceded, and the timing, may well derail their efforts to move out of the relegation zone.

Rob Sinclair

This was not to be the case as – in the rest of December – Sinclair led from the front, utilising his experience to galvanise the rest of the players and forming a good partnership with frontman Matt Paterson.

By the end of the month, City had strung together an unbeaten run of four matches, with three of them against the division’s fancied front runners for promotion.

Previously at Forest Green Rovers and part of their squad which saw them promoted to the EFL at the end of last season, he has committed himself wholeheartedly to helping his new club remain in a very competitive division.


About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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