BRANTHAM Athletic midfielder Jack Smith is setting his sights on a bumper points haul before the end of 2017.

The promotion-chasing Imps resume their Thurlow Nunn League campaign with a home match against Walsham-le-Willows tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

They then travel to Kirkley and Pakefield next Saturday before making the short hop to Stanway Rovers on Boxing Day and hosting Newmarket Town on December 30.

Brantham are fourth in the premier division with ambitions of maintaining their challenge near the top – but they need to get back on the victory trail following last week’s dramatic 4-2 defeat at home to Stowmarket Town.

“There are still a lot of games to go and hopefully we’ll get back to winning ways tomorrow,” said Smith, who scored his side’s second goal at the Leisure Centre.

“We’ve been on a good run, only losing five league games all season.

“More recently we’ve dropped a few points – losing at Ely, drawing with Haverhill Borough and now losing to Stowmarket.

“But we’re still right up there and it’s going to be a long season.

“Now we need to see where we are after Christmas.

“It’s a big month ahead.

“We’ve got some tough games but need to try and get as many points as we can – preferably maximum points - and then keep pushing on in the New Year.

“That’s going to be our goal and our plan because it’s very tight at the top.”

Brantham suffered heartache after conceding late goals in their top-of-the-table contest against Stowmarket.

Both first-half goals came in the closing stages, with Michael Brothers putting the Imps ahead.

The joint player-manager curled home a beauty of a free-kick, from inside the D, after a clear trip on Sam Newson.

Stowmarket were level in the seconds before half-time, though.

Brothers hit the post after the break before a flurry of goals in the latter stages, with both sides adding to their tallies.

Brantham regained their lead thanks to a cracking strike from Smith, who cut in from the left before firing home from 20 yards.

However, Stowmarket were immediately back on terms with a goal direct from a free-kick.

And there was even better to come for the visitors in stoppage time, when they nosed in front and then added a fourth.

“It was a tough one to take,” admitted Smith.

“In the first half, we had to absorb a lot of pressure.

“We coped with that, got a goal but then conceded a poor one. We should have defended it better.

“There was a point in the second half when we were controlling things and I then got a late goal to put us ahead again, which was a great feeling, “I thought it was going to be the winner, but they equalised almost straight away and that took all our momentum away.

“Heads dropped a bit and the fact they then scored twice more – with two more poor goals, from our point of view – was very disappointing.

“A point would have been a good result for us and we would have taken that before the game.

“But Stowmarket have been scoring a lot of late goals recently so credit to them. We made three mistakes in the last ten minutes and it cost us three goals.”

Smith is expecting another tough match against Walsham, despite tomorrow’s opponents languishing in 17th.

“Walsham beat Felixstowe the other night in the League Cup (4-2 on penalties, after a 2-2 draw),” he said.

“To beat the league leaders in any game, be it league or cup, is a real feat and they’ll be on a high.

“We’ll have to be on top of our game to come away with the points.”