FAIRFORD manager Paul Braithwaite admits that Shortwood reserves are still in the driving seat for second place in Hellenic League Division One West, but believes his team are well-equipped to challenge with a favourable run-in.

The third-placed Cinder Lane side are two points behind Shortwood having played a game more and if they are able to make up the deficit, will be eligible for automatic promotion to the Premier Division for the 2014/15 season.

“We’re playing catch-up on Shortwood at the moment,” said Braithwaite.

“We’ve still got to play them and between the two of us, not being disrespectful to any of the other teams in the league, I think we’ve got the slightly easier run-in.

“They will be looking to make sure they stay there or thereabouts and it’s important to us to keep winning to prevent teams below from catching us.

“My personal feeling is that I want to go up, but that will be addressed by the committee and myself once the season finishes. As a manager you want to manage at the highest level possible.”

Fairford are set to travel to midtable Easington tomorrow and Braithwaite has a fully-fit squad at his disposal to take on a side that held league leaders Tytherington to a 2-2 draw earlier this month.

Braithwaite has been impressed with Easington’s form of late - although Sports have only played one game so far in 2014 - but added that his team were in fine fettle themselves.

“I don’t think it’s going to be easy because they are on a run, a bit like North Leigh who we played last week,” said Braithwaite.

“They have beaten Carterton, Letcombe, New College and Tuffley so they have picked up a few points and we will have to make sure we’re prepared and set up correctly.

“Their confidence will be high but on the other side of the coin we’re buzzing as we’re on our own run.

“We deserved something from the weekend and didn’t get it, but we’re full of confidence in any case.”