DESPITE sitting second in the table, Alvechurch boss Ian Long admits it will be a tall order to catch leaders Basford United who are currently running away with the title in Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Division One South.

Nottinghan based Basford are still unbeaten after 20 games this season having clocked up 54 points out of a possible 60 in the process.

They led Alvechurch by a massive 18 point margin going into the Christmas programme but Long insists the situation isn't insurmountable.

He said: "We've got three games in hand over Basford, so we could conceivably cut the gap to nine points - but we have to win those games in hand first.

"If anyone would have offered me second place at this stage of the season, I would have taken it.

"From our perspective, we're not even at the half way stage of the season and with so many games coming up in such a short period, it will be interesting to see where we stand come January.

"At the moment, I admit Basford are cake-walking their way to the title.

"Basford are unbeaten at the moment in the league and I would like to see how they react to a defeat.

"There are some tough teams in this league but I feel, even now, it would need a collapse of massive proportions for Basford to miss out now.

"All we can do is keep chipping away at their lead.

"It's a shame that we don't meet each other until four games from the end of the season, by which time, the title race could be home and hosed!

Alvechurch were set to travel to sixth placed Bedworth United on Boxing Day for an earlier 1pm kick-off. They now travel to Frickley this Saturday before entertaining rock bottom Romulus on New Year's Day.