CHESTER FC can open up a 19-point lead at the top of the Blue Square Bet North tonight with victory at home to Gainsborough Trinity (7.45pm).
Second-placed Guiseley are not in action and Blues boss Neil Young knows a win would move his side – who have played three games more than their nearest rivals – a massive step closer to a third successive promotion and title.
Guiseley host third-placed Brackley Town on Saturday. Chester do not have a game.
Young, who has a full-strength squad to choose from this evening, said: “I believe tonight is as big a game as we’ve had all season.
“I believe if we could get the three points it could be quite significant in terms of where the title ends up.
“But we’re under no illusions of how difficult it’s going to be.”
Gainsborough are unbeaten in six in the league and fresh from a battling FA Trophy semi-final loss to Wrexham.
Young, who has studied Trinity’s two-legged tie against the Dragons at close detail, said: “They’ve beaten four Conference sides in the FA Trophy and had they not conceded a late goal in the first leg at Wrexham, they definitely would have taken the second leg to extra-time and possibly penalties.
“And when you look at their league form, they must be right up there along with ourselves and Guiseley.
“They are a good side, hardworking and well organised, and they have a good shape about them which they get into very quickly.
“They’ve got the strength to be dangerous from set-pieces and in Terry Hawkridge they’ve got one of the better players in the league.”
You can follow all of the action from tonight’s big match on Twitter @PaulWheelock