The French third division is one to watch this year. With only two promotion spots to Ligue 2 and six (yes, six) relegation places to the National 2 below, the National 1 has seen one of the tightest contests at the top of the table in recent years.
Parisian-suburban side Red Star FC travelled to league leaders Martigues (0-2) and earned a vital win to open up the possibility of promotion, going within two points of first place with a game in hand. With just eleven rounds of the championship to be played, the race to secure promotion to Ligue 2 is heating up to extreme temperatures, with only two points separating the current top four.
A small huddle of Red Star fans made the 1500km round trip from Paris down south to the suburbs of Marseille on Monday evening to watch Habib Beye’s side claim the 2-0 win thanks to goals from Damien Durand and Kémo Cissé which saw the Audoniens climb into fourth place, but more importantly squeezing the gap on the top three.
The FFF Championnat National table as of 6th March 2023
|4||Red Star FC||22||38|
Despite defeat to Red Star, surprise league leaders in Martigues (who were newly promoted from National 2 last season) still retain a slender one-point lead at the top of the table, whilst Concarneau are level on 39 points with FC Versailles. However, the Breton side posses a game in hand, as do Red Star, over the other two sides in the race.
The games will come thick and fast for the four promotion candidates as the league resumes action on Friday evening, with Martigues travelling to the capital to face Paris 13 whilst Concarneau travel to PSG’s Coupe de France round of 64 opponents Châteauroux. Red Star will be on home soil at Stade Bauer to face 15th-placed Le Puy before Versailles host Corsican side Bastia-Borgo on Monday evening at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris.
GFFN | George Boxall