Manager James Webster is confident that over-achieving Regent can wrap up promotion

Brightlingsea Regent boss, James Webster, biting his finger-nails during the 1-0 home defeat to Thur

Brightlingsea Regent boss, James Webster, biting his finger-nails during the 1-0 home defeat to Thurrock, ironically the R's only loss in their last 18 matches. Picture: STEVE ARGENT - Credit: Archant

Brightlingsea Regent boss, James Webster, admits that it would be a big disappointment if his side failed to clinch automatic promotion, despite having a pre-season target of just scraping into the play-offs.

The in-form R’s are nine points clear at the top of Ryman North, with just five fixtures remaining, so they are on the brink of achieving an historic promotion to Step Three of the non-league pyramid.

Remarkably, the North Road club have won 15 of their last 18 fixtures. In fact, they have only lost once since a defeat to Dereham on Boxing Day.

Fresh from Saturday’s eye-catching 3-2 win at fifth-placed Haringey Borough, the Rs face another tough test this weekend at home to third-placed AFC Hornchurch. But Webster’s men have continually proved their doubters wrong this season, and there’s no reason why they can’t finish off the job during the last three weeks of the season.

“It’s been a terrific run. We’ve only lost once in the last three months, and we have got momentum,” enthused Webster.

“We’ve got five games left, and we know that we need to get seven points to be assured of winning the title.

“It’s been a long, hard season, and there have been many tough challenges along the way. There are more tough games to come, but it’s testament to the strength of the squad that we have managed to keep it going.

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“We’ve been without our skipper (Matt Cripps) for the last three matches, due to suspension, and to be honest I thought that we might struggle a little, but we’ve won all three.

“Our target at the start of the season was to finish in fifth spot, the last play-off berth, and we guaranteed our play-off place at the very least on Saturday.

“But we’re now so close to winning the league that it would be disappointing if we didn’t finish off the job. Winning three of our last five games would do it, but to get anything from this Saturday’s game would be a bonus,” added Webster.

In addition to the visit of Hornchurch, the R’s also have home matches against Romford (Saturday week) and Dereham (Easter Monday). They are away at local rivals Witham on Good Friday and play-off chasing Cheshunt on the final day.

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