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Bishop's Stortford manager Steve Smith admits Isthmian Premier title race could be over with Worthing going 13 points clear

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Steve Smith is preparing his Bishop’s Stortford side for a massive week in the battle for promotion – but admits the title race could be over.

The manager saw his team held to a second consecutive 0-0 draw in the Pitching In Isthmian League, Premier Division at the weekend as Horsham frustrated them at the R&D Advisors UK Stadium.

And the second-placed Blues are now 13 points behind leaders Worthing, who followed up Saturday's 2-1 win at Lewes with a 1-0 success away to East Thurrock United last night.

Stortford are at home to Worthing on Tuesday, with that rearranged game sandwiched between this Saturday’s home game with Merstham and next Saturday’s (March 19) trip to play-off rivals Lewes.

Following last night's matches - Stortford were not in action - only three points now separate Smith's side and sixth-placed Lewes, with the latter triumphing 1-0 at Leatherhead. There was also a significant 2-1 win for fourth-placed Hornchurch at Potters Bar Town.

Stortford and third-placed Folkestone Invicta both have 63 points, Hornchurch and Enfield Town have 62 and Lewes, one place outside the play-offs, have 60.

Ryan Charles in action during Bishop's Stortford's 0-0 home draw with Horsham. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (55283936)
Ryan Charles in action during Bishop's Stortford's 0-0 home draw with Horsham. Picture: Nathan Cracknell (55283936)

“We’ve got to keep going with nine games left,” said Smith. “We’ve got to win on Saturday going into the Worthing game before Lewes away the following Saturday, so there are three big games coming up.

“I think Worthing are going to win the league now – you’ve got to be realistic. They’re probably too far away for us to catch, but we’ll keep going and see where it takes us.”

If they do miss out on the title, coming second would be the next priority for the Blues as that would guarantee them home ties in the play-off semi-final and, if they were to reach it, the play-off final.

Smith had been looking to arrange a friendly for his side last night, but instead was due to oversee a 60-minute 11v11 contest amongst his squad.

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