BRANTHAM Athletic joint-boss Michael Brothers says his players are not feeling extra pressure heading into tomorrow’s crucial showdown at Coggeshall Town.

The pair are locked in a thrilling battle near the top of the Thurlow Nunn League table.

Brantham, in fourth, could move to within a point of their second-placed hosts with a victory at West Street.

But Coggeshall would move seven points clear in they were to win - and they have the added bonus of three games in hand.

Stowmarket are third, two points better off than the Imps.

“There’s no denying it’s a big game and it would be great to get a positive result,” said Brothers, who runs the side with Matt Carmichael.

“First and foremost, it would help keep the title alive and it would be fantastic to strengthen our position and keep in touch with them.

“It would give us a real boost.

“If they were to win, they’d be seven points above us with three games in hand.

“But if we could get the points, we’d only be one behind.

“Coggeshall would still have the games in hand, obviously, but I’d rather have points on the board.

“The boys are exciting and games like this are the reason we play football.

“We underperformed and weren’t at our best when they beat us 3-0 in August.

“But our form and results since then have proved that we don’t have anything to fear against any of the top sides.

“We don’t feel any pressure and it’s more a case of excitement than any other emotion.”

Big-spending Coggeshall, who suffered a rare defeat when losing 2-1 at Histon last Saturday, appear the most likely side capable of catching runaway leaders Felixstowe and Walton.

They are 17 points adrift but have five games in hand on the Suffolk Seasiders.

“Coggeshall are lucky to have the resources they’ve got but that happens in football. It happens at the top level,” added Brothers.

“Fair play to them, though.

“They’re trying to build something and do things the right way.

“We’re both ambitious clubs, even if we’re doing things in a different way.

“We both want to get to the same place.”

Brantham saw off Haverhill Borough 4-1 at the Leisure Centre last Saturday.

Borough took the lead with a header from a corner.

However, Ben Newson restored parity, applying the finishing touch to a sweeping move.

George Clarke, who scored both goals for the Imps in the previous week’s 2-1 success against Newmarket Town, nodded home and then showed his strength, holding off challenges before firing home to make it 3-1.

Haverhill were reduced to ten men in the second half and substitute Sam Newson put the cherry on the cake by firing home from 20 yards.

“We did OK but I wouldn’t say we played great,” added Brothers.

“There’s definitely room for improvement.

“Sam was back from suspension but we didn’t want to drop anyone from the side that beat Newmarket.

“We want to do things properly and show loyalty to the players who do well.

“Everyone deserves to be treated the same.

“Sam knows that and completely understands.

“It’s great from our point of view because every manager wants a strong, competitive squad.

“Matt and myself will have some big decisions to make but we’re up for that challenge.”

Striker Terry Rymer is taking a break from the game to get his fitness levels back.

Midfielder Craig Hughes is closing in on a return, after tearing his hamstring in early December.

He was given the green light to return to training this week and could be back in the squad.