What teams have had the best start to a league campaign in the National League?

Wrexham's Hollywood Owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney lift the champions trophyWrexham's Hollywood Owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney lift the champions trophy

Sometimes in football, teams come racing out of the blocks at the beginning of the season and go on to enjoy fantastic campaigns, win promotion or fail to achieve their objective.

Here are the teams that have enjoyed the best starts to a National League campaign: (Most records judged on the first 24 games of the campaign)

Notts County (Season 2022/23, 57 points)

The Magpies enjoyed an excellent start to the 2022/23 campaign, as they won 17 of their opening 24 matches, picking up six draws and suffering just one defeat in the strong start.

Despite their strong early-season form, the men from the Midlands finished second place in the table, pipped to automatic promotion by Wrexham. However, Luke Williams team then won promotion by winning the play-offs.

Wrexham (Season 2022/23, 56 points)

The Welsh team experienced an extraordinary campaign in the National League, which started by claiming an impressive 56 points from their opening 24 games.

They eventually ended up winning the title by collecting a record point tally of 111, four points ahead of Notts County, who they had been doing battle for that automatic promotion spot for much of the season.

Chesterfield (Season 2023/24, 56 points)

At the time of writing, Chesterfield is top of the National League, having claimed 56 points in just 22 games, not 24. The Spireites have claimed 18 wins, two draws, and just two defeats.

With games in hand on the teams directly below them and an eight-point lead, the chances of Paul Cook’s team winning automatic promotion look very bright in season 2023/24.

Wrexham (Season 2011/12, 53 points)

The Welsh side picked up 53 points in season 2011/12, winning 16, drawing five and losing three of their opening games.

Unfortunately for the club, they finished second place in the table, failing to win automatic promotion, having picked up 98 points and five shy of league winners Fleetwood Town. In the play-off semi-finals, they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Luton Town.

Oxford United (Season 2009/10, 53 points)

The U’s picked up 53 points from their opening 24 games in season 2009/10, winning 16 games, drawing five and suffering two defeats.

United went on to finish third place in the table, 13 points adrift of Stevenage, who earned automatic promotion via finishing in top spot. However, they won promotion via winning the play-offs.

Fleetwood Town (Season 2011/12, 53 points)

The team from the north west enjoyed a stellar start to the 2011/12 season, as Town were neck-to-neck with Wrexham for automatic promotion. After 24 games, the pair were joint on points.

Fleetwood’s early season form was a sign of things to come, as the Cod Army earned automatic promotion by finishing the campaign with an impressive points tally of 103.

Lincoln City (Season 2016/17, 52 points)

The Imps made a solid start to season 2016/17, having picked up 52 points in their opening 24 games, recorded 16 victories, claimed four draws, and suffered four defeats in the run.

City went on to win the National League title, claiming 99 points and earning automatic promotion to League Two.

Cambridge United (Season 2013/14, 52 points)

The U’s made a strong start to season 2013/14, winning 52 points, claiming 15 wins, seven draws and suffering two defeats. At that point in the campaign, United were just one point above Luton Town.

Unfortunately for Cambridge, they couldn’t sustain their early season strong form in the National League. They went on to finish as runners-up, 19 points shy of Luton, who claimed the one automatic promotion spot. However, Cambridge did win promotion via the play-offs.

Cheltenham (Season 2015/16, 50 points)

The Robins kicked off season 2015/16 by taking 50 points from their opening 24 league games, picking up 14 wins and eight draws and suffering two defeats.

Cheltenham went on to cruise to the National League title, collecting 101 points to earn promotion to League Two, finishing the season 12 points clear of runner-up Forest Green.

Tranmere Rovers (Season 2016/17, 50 points)

The team from Wirral claimed 15 wins, eight draws and suffered two defeats to gain 50 points in their first 24 games of the 2016/17 season. Tranmere were still two points behind league leader Lincoln City at that stage of the campaign.

Rovers went on to finish the fifth-tier season with a strong points tally of 95 points. However, it was four short of Lincoln’s tally of 99 points. They lost the play-off final 3-1 against Forest Green.