Lancaster City boss Phil Brown knows the hard work is only just beginning for his top-of-the-table Dolly Blues.
City came from behind to win 2-1 at Tadcaster Albion on Saturday, a result that saw them reach the summit of the NPL First Division North on goal difference. They also have three games in hand on the rest ahead of Ossett Albion visiting Giant Axe on Saturday.
“It’s a really good feeling,” said Brown. “It’s great to see us top of the league but without sounding too negative it’s not where we are now it’s where we are in April.
“But it’s a reward for all the hard work the lads have put in since the start of the season.”
Having games in hand means in many people’s eyes the Dolly Blues are major promotion contenders.
Brown however is urging caution with the kind of challenges that might lie ahead illustrated in the battling win over Tadcaster.
“We’re only top on goal difference and those games in hand can disappear quickly when you’re playing two or three times in a week,” he said.
“I’m not seeing it as a buffer, I’d rather have the points on the board as any manager would.
“We said last Saturday’s game was the kind where we should have been getting something out of it and we did.
“It should have been 3-1 or 4-1 in the end but we didn’t get the third goal and they had a couple of chances to get the equaliser.
“Overall I thought we just about edged it though.”
An improving Ossett Albion are the visitors to Giant Axe with Brown looking for his side to carry on what they showed against Tadcaster and make sure they’re top at Christmas.
“They’ve brought in a few new players over the last week or so,” he said.
“They had a good goalless draw on Tuesday night (against Farsley Celtic) and beat Glossop the previous Saturday.
“It seems like they might be finding a bit of form.
“But it’s about what we do and the lads want to be top at Christmas.”
Brown is only without long-term absentees Jordan Connerton (knee) and Jacob Davis (hernia) ahead of the game.
He could look to the club’s Under-21s side again, Will Fraser-Gray taking his place on the bench at Tadcaster, but the City boss is also hoping to add to his squad in the coming weeks.
“Will’s been playing in the Under-21s and scoring a few goals,” said Brown.
“He’s trained with us for the last few weeks and I’d have no problem putting him in, the same goes for our other young lads. I think we might just need a bit more depth though and am looking to bring in some experience.”