Last weekend could prove to be the turning point in Leatherhead’s relegation battle, according to Richard Brady.
The Tanners went into the weekend six points adrift of Harrow Borough and knowing their nearest rivals expected to win at lowly Aveley on Saturday while Leatherhead had a tricky trip to play-off chasing Cray Wanderers on Sunday.
But, Harrow surprisingly crashed to a 3-2 defeat while Leatherhead produced a shock of their own as they beat Cray 2-1 thanks to Harry Ottaway and Tommy Hutchings goals.
It means Leatherhead could climb out of the drop zone for the first time this season on Saturday if they beat Aveley and Harrow lose to Canvey Island – a much better situation than the alternative.
“Had Harrow beaten Aveley on Saturday as they expected to then it was pretty much over,” said manager Brady.
“We would have been nine points behind going into the last seven games and, although it would not have been mathematically impossible, it would have been very difficult psychologically.
“But we went to Cray and won and all of a sudden we are three points behind and full of confidence from beating one of the better teams in the league.
“We have not been playing badly and are in good form but I just wish we were half way through the season rather than at the end of it.
“But the players are all looking forward to the last six games as they are exciting games and the games you want to be part of.
“To use the cliche, they are six cup finals.”
Brady has been boosted this week by the return of key players from injury and also Greg Andrews, who was back in the starting line-up on Sunday having spent two months on loan at Walton & Hersham.
Andrews set up Ottaway’s goal but then picked up his 11th booking of the season meaning he will miss games against Horsham and Canvey Island through suspension and will also be fined by the club.
“Greg has come back a lot sharper and lot more confident,” added Brady.
“But he got his 11th booking and I don’t think any of them have been for a tackle and he will get a fine for that.”
All children under the age of 16 will be admitted to the crunch game with Aveley on Saturday for just £1 in aid of Sport Relief.