A record-breaking season remains the objective for Colne FC boss Steve Cunningham.
The Reds are ninth in the North West Counties Premier Division as they bid to beat their fifth place finishes in the 2007/08 and 2010/11 campaigns.
With 1874 Northwich expected to usurp Ashton Athletic in third spot, due to games in hand, that would leave Colne with the challenge of overturning a 13-point deficit having played seven games less than their rivals.
Cunningham, who had steered his side to four consecutive wins before losing to Atherton Collieries in the quarter-final of the Men United Cup, said: “We would love to finish in the top four and that’s certainly our target. To get third would be a tremendous effort.
“Runcorn Linnets and Glossop North End have been the two form teams all the way through so finishing behind them would show that we are one of the best sides in the division. We’re not a million miles away from sparking a promotion push next year.
“Fourth would be the clubs highest ever finish so that would be deemed a success and it gives us that platform to build on. This year has been a real success on and off the pitch but we need to carry that on now.”
A waterlogged pitch prevented play at Ashton Athletic’s Brocstedes Park at the weekend, but Cunningham is determined to return to winning ways when West Didsbury & Chorlton visit the XLCR Stadium tomorrow.
“They’ve had a strange season,” he said. “I know their manager (Andy Nelson) really well and he’s somebody who I have a lot of respect for.
“It’s a club that doesn’t pay any expenses to players, they pay their subs, so they’re doing great and have picked up some cracking results. They are on a bit of a slide but they’ll take a lot of confidence from their recent result.
“It’s a winnable game and we’ll be looking to make it four victories on the trot in the league. These next few weeks will be an opportunity for us to put some serious points on the board and that will show us where we are heading.”
Meanwhile, Joe Garvin and Danny Boyle have committed themselves to the club for the next two seasons having signed contractual terms. Cunningham is also in talks with Chris Anderson and Alex Coleman to secure their futures at Holt House.