WITTON Albion collected their second club of the month award and were then issued with a challenge by manager Jim Vince: Make us the team of the season.
“That’s the big one, that’s the one that really matters,” said Vince.
Witton have gone through November and December without tasting a league defeat and have gone 22 UniBond League matches unbeaten.
As leaders they have built up a 13 point lead over Fleetwood and 17 – with a game in hand – over third-placed Marine.
Saturday’s victory over Buxton was their 11th straight win at home and they are doing better now than the championship-winning team of 1981.
But Vince is far from satisfied.
He said: “We still need to improve. It’s not about other teams. It is about our performances.”
Saturday’s home League Cup tie against Curzon Ashton sees the return from long term injuries of Alex Brown and Dean Craven.
Meanwhile, Albion have agreed to cancel former captain Tom Spearitt’s contract to allow him regular football at Warrington Town.
NORTHWICH Vics are also at home on Saturday against Blue Square championship hopefuls Aldershot, a game followed a week later by a trip to fellow contenders Burton Albion.
The games could hardly provide a more rigorous test of Northwich’s undoubted improvement.
Whether boss Dino Maamria will have been able to use the January transfer window to strengthen his squad by the weekend remains to be seen.
He has targeted players in all departments and has been promised support by the new board, but departures are still an issue at the Victoria Stadium – the excluded Chris Williams, Paul Tait and Kevin Townson are the three he is anxious to move on quickly.
Maamria says their situation won’t affect his recruitment.
Vics have moved up from bottom to 22nd in a run of four unbeaten games which ended at Rushden. Survival now seems possible.
“We will stay up,” said Maamria.
WINSFORD United, after eight consecutive home games, hit the road on Saturday with a trip to Glossop North End.
Their promotion push has stuttered under a lengthening injury list and manager Joe Gibiliru has doubts over Mischa Showers, Tony Sayers, Chris Sheppard, David Barnes and Michael Owens for the journey.