Chichester City can head into the Christmas break leading the way after edging out fellow promotion chasers Horsham YM last weekend.
Miles Rutherford’s side produced one of their best displays of the season to nullify YM’s attack during the clash at Gorings Mead.
Skipper Ellis Martin then completed the smash and grab victory by slotting home a penalty with five minutes to play.
Those three points saw Chi draw level with YM at the top of the SCFL Premier but leapfrog them on goal difference.
With a home match to come this weekend against struggling Hassocks tomorrow (3pm) Rutherford knows that three points would guarantee his side are top of the three at the halfway mark of the season.
Then, on Boxing Day, there is a short trip to Pagham to look forward to (11am) with a healthy crowd expected to see two of the best sides in the division go toe-to-toe.
While no trophies are handed out at this stage of the season, it would be a morale-boosting claim for all at Oaklands as they head into 2019 preparing for a promotion push.
Central to Chi’s efforts will be a meagre defence which has conceded just 14 goals from 18 matches so far this season.
The clean sheet at Horsham last weekend was City’s tenth of the season and, combined with Martin’s sixth goal of the season, helped end a run of five wins in a row for YM.