Stuart Crawford has said his Hadleigh United side must raise their game when in-form Dereham Town visit the Millfield on Saturday (3pm).
The Brettsiders, who moved into sixth after Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Gorleston, face third-placed Dereham, who won their four games in all competitions before a 1-1 draw with Thetford Town on Tuesday and are unbeaten in seven.
With Hadleigh trailing the Norfolk side by just two points, Crawford believes they must find another gear to close that gap on Saturday.
He said: “It is our biggest test so far and it is an important three weeks for us with Brantham following and the Vase game (Colney Heath) — it is the three biggest games of the season.”
Although their form has been good, he added: “We defended well on Saturday but going forward we could have done much better than we did.
“We were not at our best but we kept a clean sheet and got a few goals in the second half and the win is all that matters.
“It was the same as against CRC (2-1), we did enough to win the game but this weekend we have to up our game.”
Former Cornard keeper and now Brightlingsea stopper Darren Moyes has agreed to continue his loan deal for two more weeks to help Hadleigh through while regular goalkeeper Dan Heath is given time to recuperate from his shoulder injury.
Elsewhere, Long Melford host Halstead Town in the First Division Knockout Cup first round (3pm).