If there was a manager of the season award in the Peterborough Premier Division, Mark Baines of Stilton United would surely have it in the bag.
Such has been Stilton’s stealthy progress this season - their first under Baines - few will have realised that the top-flight title is actually theirs to lose.
Put simply if Stilton win their final six matches they will finish first. It won’t be easy as they play second-placed Coates this Saturday and finish the campaign against current leaders Oakham.
But Baines believes his side have been over-achieving all season and can do so for another couple of months.
“At the start of the season I said I’d be happy with a top 10 place and a cup final,” Baines stated. “Well we’ve already won a cup and we can’t finish lower than eighth in the Premier Division. To get to April and have the title in our hands is an incredible achievement when you consider what we are competing against.
“Coates and Oakham are both towns, we are a village. Coates run four teams and their reserves are top of Division One. My reserves are in Division Four and some weeks struggle to raise a side.
“We’ve slipped under the radar a bit, but there is still no pressure on us to win the remaining games. We’re effectively free-rolling.
“We have won 19 of the last 21 points possible and to win the league we will have to win every game we have left.
“It’s a tall order , but if we can take it to the final game that would be a great effort.”
Stilton are without top scorer Craig Smith against Coates this Saturday. He starts a two-game suspension following a red card in a Hunts County Cup Final success.
Smith scored the only goal in last Saturday’s 1-0 win at lowly Crowland.
Oakham stretched their lead at the top to four points after thumping Uppingham 6-0 in the so-called ‘tractor derby’. Stilton are eight points off the top with two games in hand.