NANTWICH TOWN boss Nigel Gleghorn has been named North West Counties League manager of the month.
The former Manchester City, Ipswich and Stoke midfielder presided over five victories and one draw in Nantwich's seven matches as they made progress in the FA Vase and collected 10 points from a possible 15 in the league.
Chairman Clive Jackson feels his player-manager's award is long overdue.
He said: 'We're delighted for Nigel and it's not before time.
'We feel he could have won it a couple of times towards the end of last season when our results were good, but we weren't as high in the table as the managers that did win it.
'We had a bit of a stutter going into November, but things seem to have turned around and Steve Davis has made a big difference in defence since he joined us.'
The Dabbers now lie eighth in the table and are poised to challenge for their pre-season objective of a top-four spot.
'We're aiming to be in the top four at the end of the season and Nigel knows that's what is expected,' added Jackson.
'We seem to be going in the right direction though and are still involved in the FA Vase, so hopefully we can keep things going.'
History suggests the award can be something of a mixed blessing - this was no exception.
Right on cue, the Dabbers' six-game unbeaten run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat at Mossley last Tuesday.
Even so, Town pushed the league leaders all the way at Seel Park. Wes Wilkinson grabbed the Nantwich goal but Gleghorn's men had Jamie Phoenix sent off and were without the in-form Danny Griggs.
On Saturday, the Dabbers were held to a goalless draw by a new-look Abbey Hey side, who have been revitalised by several signings.
'Even so, it was Nantwich who came closest to grabbing victory, with Phoenix hitting the woodwork in the second half.
The Dabbers turn their attentions back to cup football this Saturday when Midland Alliance outfit Coalville Town visit in the third round of the FA Vase.
Gleghorn knows his men are capable of making considerable progress in the competition and the Dabbers are hoping for a big crowd to cheer them into the last 32.
Experienced defender Tim Alexander is due to return to Kidsgrove after a short spell at Jackson Avenue.
Versatile Jackson is also enjoying turning his hand to taking charge of the Dabbers' reserve side. Their latest success saw them crush Cheadle Reserves 5-0 on Saturday. ALSAGER Town moved into the top 10 of the Division One table after stretching their unbeaten run to four games on Saturday.
Greg Clowes's men have found form since bowing out of the FA Vase against Leamington last month and kept their momentum up with a 2-1 win at Skelmersdale United.
After Steve Dee came close to putting the home side ahead, Ben Biddulph was only inches away from heading an excellent cross beyond Holcroft.
Town took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Biddulph found space between the Skelmersdale centre halves and drilled home an excellent shot from 18 yards.
Rob Powner made an excellent save from a Steve Rimmer header to keep Alsager ahead and they doubled their lead in the 77th minute.
As Skem committed more men in their search for an equaliser, Alsager countered and Andy Kinsey broke clear to fire accurately past Holcroft.
Skelmersdale pulled a goal back in the closing stages, with Tony Morton firing in after the ball rebounded invitingly into his path, but it was too late to prevent Town claiming an excellent away win to help continue their climb up the table.
Alsager had made it three games unbeaten with a goalless draw at Warrington Town last Tuesday night and the late goal conceded at Skem was the first they have shipped in more than six hours of football.
Alsager go to Abbey Hey on Saturday.