AFC Sudbury manager David Batch is targeting their busy run of games over the festive period to land them in pole position to break into the top five.
After Saturday’s battling 2-2 draw at in-form Soham Town Rangers, having played for 26 minutes with 10 men, the Yellows are just seven points off Harlow Town in the final play-off spot with a game in hand.
But ahead of hosting second-placed Thurrock on Saturday (3pm), in a reverse of their opening-day victory, he said: “I think the whole month we have ahead of us is a tough challenge.
“It is a great opportunity for us — if we pick up points and get to the turn of the year, even the back end of January, in touch of the top five it is then a mental challenge and test of character to get you over the line. That is all we want to do.
“We have another tough two games before Christmas and another tough three games after.”
Following Thurrock’s visit, who are a point off the top having played two games more than VCD Athletic, AFC travel to Suffolk rivals Needham Market on Boxing Day (1pm) for the second time this season, having been knocked out of the FA Cup at Bloomfields in October.