The tough challenges just keep coming for table-topping Brackley Town.
A Matt Lowe goal and a 12th clean sheet of the season earned the Saints a 1-0 win over Guiseley at St James Park last Saturday.
That victory, coupled with AFC Fylde’s 1-0 loss at Darlington, sent Kevin Wilkin’s team back to the summit in the Vanarama National League North.
Brackley are a point clear and have the chance to make that gap four when they play their game in hand this weekend.
However, that game in hand is at third-placed Gateshead who are in impressive form themselves.
They will start the weekend five points behind Brackley with two games in hand and while Wilkin recognises the difficult game in front of his players, he insists they are in confident mood.
“It’s nice to be up there,” the Saints boss said.
“It was a good result on Saturday but now we are faced with the most in-form team in the league so it’s another tough game to follow.
“But we are feeling confident. We aren’t underestimating the size of the task ahead but we are confident.
“We have shown we can go to places like Gateshead and achieve results and that will be our intention on Saturday.
“We could do with one or two coming back from injury to bolster the ranks.
“Connor Franklin and Jordan Richards have both been out with injuries and we could do with at least one of them coming back.
“We are down to the bare bones but the lads are working hard for one another and hopefully that continues to be the case.”
Saturday’s game is the start of a tricky run of fixtures for Brackley over the festive period which sees them play county rivals Kettering Town twice with a trip to Boston sandwiched in between.
“The teams we are facing over this next period are massive clubs and I include Kettering in that, Wilkin said.
“Gateshead are the in-form club in the league, Kettering are a big club and they are never an easy game and Boston are the same.
“But we have shown we can compete with these teams and hopefully we can do the same over the Christmas period.”