Badshot Lea are starting to believe this could be their season as they continued their marvellous Combined Counties League season.
They travelled to Jersey and beat the highly-rated Bulls 2-1 in a tense encounter, thanks to goals by Dean Rule and George Hedley.
Their next two matches are against sides also in the promotion frame – Knaphill this Saturday and then leaders Raynes Park Vale, both games taking place at Wrecclesham.
Co-manager Gavin Smith is taking nothing for granted, though – he knows there is a long way to go before the honours are shared out. But the Baggies have one of the meanest defences in Step 5.
Smith said: “It was a tense, tight game – we were very nervous but the first half was a very good game of football with both sides going for it.
“We knew it would be tight and the second half wasn’t so good as no-one wanted to make a mistake and on the day we just got the rub of the green. The players were really up for it, but then I’d be disappointed if they weren’t ready for a game like that.
“This season is going well and what we could achieve has to be in the players’ minds, but in the end it’s down to them. All we can do is try to keep the squad happy and keep picking the right team – then it’s down to the players to turn up and play.
“I believe on their day we have better players than most teams. But that’s on the day – Croydon were better than us in the first half the other week, so it’s about turning up week in and week out with the same mentality.
“In the position we are in, we have to be trying to achieve something. We’d be stupid not to.
“This month was always going to be a big one. Knaphill on Saturday won’t be easy as they are going really well, and once we get that out of the way we play leaders Raynes Park.
“Even after that we have Tadley and that won’t be easy. Every game has its own problems but this month everyone we play is around us, and these are the games we want to be winning.
“Even after the run we have had, the table is still very tight. Look at Raynes Park – last year we beat them and they went on an unbeaten run that was ridiculous, and they have done the same again, winning the last 11 games.
“I’d rather be where they are, with points in the bag rather than games in hand. There’s no guarantee you’ll win games in hand.
“With Raynes Park in the FA Vase on Saturday, this is one of our games in hand, so it becomes really important.”
Two days before the trip to Jersey, the Baggies didn’t have an experienced goalkeeper to call upon – so they snapped up Harvey Rackley-Hayes on loan from Sheerwater.
“We did have a keeper standing by but it wasn’t really the right game for him to come in and make his debut,” said Smith.
The co-manager was delighted with his side’s two goals – but admitted his coaching team had to make some tough decisions on the day.
“We brought on Harrison Livingstone up front but when Jersey started hitting long balls into our box, we needed to change things again so took him off – he’d only been on for 15 minutes.
“But we needed to deal with the set pieces as they seemed to have free kick after free kick and corner after corner and we didn’t want to come unstuck.
“The lads did really well. George Hedley was superb. We went man for man and George looked after their centre forward and it worked really well.
“The extra competition for places helps – players see others at training who want to play and sometimes it helps improve performances on the pitch. That’s what we want.”