DOWNTON are currently fourth in the Wessex League Division One and very much in the thick of the promotion shake-up and have a really big game on Saturday, when they entertain fifth placed Andover New Street.

Looking back on their season so far Downton manager Ben Smith said: "So far myself and Rich Rendall have been delighted with everyone’s efforts this season.

"We have had the luxury of a regular nucleus of players which have been committed and trained extremely hard week in and week out from day one and that makes a big difference.

"Keeping the same bunch of players has been our downfall over the last few seasons but this year is different.

"It goes to show what we can achieve when you have everyone together all of the time. Admittedly we have a few new additions which gives us strength in depth and at times it is very hard to include everyone but that’s a nicer headache to have.

He added: "So far we have had some great wins early in the season with a nice little run in the FA Vase and more recently we have turned over several Wessex Premier sides in the Bournemouth Senior Cup.

"Some people seem to think we are not ready for the next level but based on these results I would certainly question that.

"I want to win every game and every cup competition that’s in front of me, that’s just the way I am as player and as a manager. Thankfully I have a bunch of lads want to buy into that and feel the same."

Downton lost in their last outing at Whitchurch and Smith said: "Just recently we have lost some games that on paper we should be winning and it now makes our February a critical month for the promotion push.

"We have all the top sides coming up and this will be the real test to see how far we have come.

"Some key players have suspensions but we have quality to come in so I am confident we are strong going into these games.

"These next few weeks will be exciting for everyone and I hope we can show the fans are ready and repay them with some big performances."

Another addition to the Robins is Dan Newman, after coming through some extremely tough times with his motorbike accident he is back helping me and the Robins behind the scenes and its an absolute pleasure to work alongside a fellow Robins legend that was once my partner and guardian in defence.

"Dan has kindly taken up the role of vice chairman and has taken the pressure of me and the team which helps us concentrate on the priority’s that lie ahead.

"This Saturday we are at home to Andover New Street which is the start of the big games so as much support from everyone will be greatly appreciated."