HIGHWORTH Town manager Jeff Roberts wants to ramp up the pressure on those teams chasing his side at the top of the Hellenic Premier Division table with a win at home to Woodley United this weekend.

The Worthians have dropped just seven points from 20 league games this term and are currently 10 points clear of second-placed Thatcham Town, and a further two ahead of both Bracknell Town and Wantage Town.

Thatcham and Bracknell are both without league fixtures on Saturday as they instead focus their attentions on the FA Vase and Roberts is therefore keen to further turn the screw by beating fifth-from-bottom Woodley.

“Woodley are struggling a little bit and with Thatcham and Bracknell both in Vase action on Saturday, it is a massive game for us to try to pick up three points and keep opening that gap up so that they have got to keep chasing us,” said Roberts.

“I think Bracknell are our biggest contenders with the budget and resources they have and it’s about trying to keep that cushion ahead of them.

“We have got to play them over the Christmas period and they are still in the Vase, so they will have games to pick up so the pressure is on them. They have to get the points, whereas we have the points.

“We can’t look too far ahead, though, and we have to keep doing our job.

“If someone had said to me at the start of the season that we would be top of the table by 10 points going into December, I would have most probably have laughed at them, but it’s down to the players and the hard work they have put in.”

After back-to-back draws in the league, Roberts saw his side make a welcome return to winning ways on Tuesday night in a last-gasp 3-2 success away at Oxford City Nomads, with the Worthians chief believing better application was the catalyst for the result.

“I just wanted a reaction from last Saturday’s draw against Abingdon as I was disappointed with our display. I didn’t think we worked hard enough then and over the last few games, I thought we had got a bit lazy,” said Roberts.

“It was a case of getting back on track to where we were and concentrating on the job and I thought that commitment was there from all the players. We have got the quality but the work-rate has to come with it and we saw that on Tuesday.”

Ashley Edenborough and Ryan O’Hara are both suspended for the Worthians this weekend, Jon Davoile and Aysa Corrick are unavailable and Tom Cole is out injured but Chris Taylor and Jason Milhench are available for selection again.

Elsewhere, Fairford Town will be looking to make it three Premier Division wins in a row when they host bottom side Highmoor Ibis.

Royal Wootton Bassett Town travel to Abingdon United, having won 7-3 at home against Binfield on Wednesday.

In Division One West, New College entertain Kidlington Reserves, while Shrivenham are without a game this weekend.