RUNCORN Linnets boss Steve Carragher says promotion is in his team's grasp - and they have come too far to let it slip now.
But he conceded Monday's goalless draw at Winsford United will make it very difficult for his side to be North West Counties Division Two champions.
Only the top two are certain to go up and Carragher insisted the new club will not give up on the title until it is impossible.
Three teams still have a real-istic chance of overhauling Linnets - favourites Winsford, Padiham and New Mills..
A fourth - Oldham Town, who visit Wincham Park on Tuesday went into last night's home game against Daisy Hill knowing they could equal Linnets' current total.
But their goal difference is vastly inferior to Runcorn's anyway.
Winsford have still to visit New Mills with these sides having six and seven games, respectively to fit into the last fortnight of the campaign.
Padiham, with two points to make up on Linnets even if they win their two games in hand, have also to entertain New Mills and face tricky games at Ashton Town this Saturday and Oldham Town.
'Promotion is ours to throw away now more than ever and we have worked too hard and come so far to do that,' said Carragher after the Bank Holiday draw at Barton Stadium.
'We know if we win our last three games we will be promoted and having two of those at home is a big lift for us. We have just got to make them count.
'Realistically, the league is now going to be a big ask. Monday's result has made it a bit easier for Winsford but they have still got a couple of tricky games.
'We won't give up until it is impossible.'
More than two teams could yet be promoted due to reorganisation higher up the non-league pyramid.
But Linnets will not want to rely on 'maybes' and would prefer promotion to be sealed before the final day's trip to Chadderton Town.
Carragher added: 'The lads were disappointed on Monday because they felt they should have won.
'But with Padiham's result (a 3-1 defeat at Darwen), it is probably a point gained.'
Runcorn knew of Padiham's afternoon setback before kicking off and it may have affected the team's mindset.
Carragher admitted: 'If Padiham had won, we would have had to go for it and I think I would possibly have gone with three up top in the last 10 minutes.'
Linnets had to make a late change to their expected line-up when midfieldman Jay Edwards (knee) failed a fitness test.
This meant striker Thomas Lamb getting the nod after a three-match ban.
'Lamby has missed four weeks and was lacking a bit of match fitness,' added Carragher.
'I wasn't going to start him. But when I got there Jay wasn't fit when he thought he was going to be.
'I thought of putting Paul Parle back in at left-back and playing Colin Flood in the middle but Floody was struggling himself with a dead leg.
'Liam Loughlin has played in midfield before and although it wasn't ideal - it took him a good ten or 15 minutes to adjust - by the end of the first half he started to find his feet.
'It is three games now without conceding which is a big plus but we were disappointing in the final third.
'We never got Michael Young into it and Andy McCoy wasn't really at the races. Their full-backs were there to be got at but I don't think we really did it.
'We can't complain too much - the lads have been fantastic in the last few weeks.'