Player-manager Richard Tracey admits struggling Ossett Albion cannot afford to lose Saturday’s Evo Stik Division One North match with bottom-placed Radcliffe Borough.
Ossett are two points ahead of Radcliffe and could go level with Burscough with a win.
Radcliffe are yet to record a victory in their opening nine games and when asked on whether it was a must-win game, Tracey said: “It is getting that way.
“It is a six-pointer already because that would still leave us three points adrift of everyone at least if we don’t get a result.
“Without getting too carried away, the most important thing is we don’t get beat, but coming away with three points would be incredibly beneficial.
“It has been a disappointing start, but we have not been a million miles away if you take Darlington out of the equation.
“We have been in every game until the last kick of it. 2-1s, 3-2s and we have thrown away a 2-1 lead with seven minutes to go
“We were 2-0 up away at Kendal and we just didn’t manage to see it out. The real issue has been a number of injuries. We had our captain Stef (Holt) make his second start on Tuesday night.
“We haven’t had the opportunity to play the same back four in any fixture so it has been incredibly frustrating in that sense. I think once as we get a settled team and we settle down, I think we’ll be ok.”
Ossett have won just once in the league – a 3-2 victory at Harrogate Railway – but all but two defeats has been by the odd goal.
Warrington Town beat them 2-0 last month and eight days ago Albion were trounced 7-0 at title favourites Darlington 1883 and Tracey says he was impressed by Martin Gray’s side.
“With Darlington they were big, strong and organised and they had front three that were incredibly mobile and caused us a lot of problems,” he said.
“But we started badly and gave them two goals in 65 seconds and against a good organised side you’re not going to come back from that.
“We had a really good spell for 20-25 minutes and then they nicked another goal and it became that we were just containing them. It was difficult and they’ll be right up there at the end.
“I’ll perfectly honest, I think they were better than Curzon Ashton and I can’t see them been far away from being championship winners.
“I know Darlington are playing at Bishop Auckland which is a fantastic facility now and if you believe what you read on the Internet, their annual wage budget is around £100,000 a year.
“Clubs like ourselves are probably around the 20 to 25 mark and we’re a long, long way from their resources. Having said that, we played there on a Wednesday night and there were over 900 watching.
“Money through the gate makes a massive difference as well as sponsorship.”