Holbeach United must stay unbeaten in the final three games of 2017 to keep alive their championship dreams, according to boss Seb Hayes.
The derby date with Deeping Rangers at Carter’s Park on Saturday is followed by trips to Wisbech Town on Boxing Day and Newport Pagnell Town the following weekend.
If we want any chance of winning the league, we’ve got to be looking at a minimum of seven points before the new year.Seb Hayes
The Tigers are second in the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League’s Premier Division with four games in hand to close the 12-point gap behind Newport Pagnell.
Hayes said: “I think these three games will define the season in terms of where we can finish in the league.
“At the moment, it must be Newport Pagnell’s title to lose because it would still take a massive effort to claw back those points.
“If we want any chance of winning the league, we’ve got to be looking at a minimum of seven points before the new year.
“So it’s going to be tough – especially with two of those games on the road.
“I’m not trying to dampen the spirit around our club as it would be difficult for anyone up against three teams in the top five in consecutive games over an eight-day period.
“We must stay unbeaten and take as many points as we can – seven or nine.
“I’ve been saying all season that Deeping are the best side in the division in terms of how they play.
“They killed us off in the away game but we put it right in the Lincolnshire FA Senior Trophy at home.
“We won the match on a penalty shoot-out but I felt we matched them all night and looked better at times.
“Of course, we are wary of what they can do on Saturday. We have to make sure that we work hard and hopefully our top players will out-perform theirs.
“Both teams really need to win this game. We know each other very well so I believe it all comes down to our quality on the day and putting ourselves in an even better position.”