GARY Martindale has said that Witton Albion’s results during November can set the tone for the rest of their season.

They are scheduled to play five Northern Premier League matches, four of them at home, as well as hosting AFC Rushden and Diamonds at the next stage of the FA Trophy.

That sequence starts when Lancaster City arrive in Northwich on Saturday.

After playing only twice in the Premier Division last month, Witton will start that contest occupying an unfamiliar position in the table’s bottom three.

“It’s a massive few weeks ahead for us,” said Albion’s assistant manager.

“And I don’t think that’s overstating things.

“The boys know that, and are fully aware of the situation we’ll be going back to now we’ve got a run of league games.

“They talk among themselves about climbing the table – I know, because I’ve listened to them – and that’s what we want to hear as a management team.”

Stalybridge Celtic are due at Wincham Park on Tuesday.

After that, a date with Rushden and Diamonds – opponents that they defeated on three occasions when the teams were rivals in the Northern Premier League’s First Division South two years ago.

But Martindale told the Guardian that attention can’t turn towards that game just yet.

He added: “It’s our aim to put points on the board to take off a little bit of pressure before we play them.

“If we can get on a little run then it’s a boost psychologically.

“I think we need that.”

Along with manager Carl Macauley, he saw plenty to be encouraged by when Witton won at in-form Whitby last weekend to secure a spot in the second qualifying round.

Billy Smart’s goal separated the teams at the Turnbull Ground, where Albion have now prevailed twice this season following a 1-0 win in the league in August.

Martindale said: “It wasn’t the best of games but it was a fantastic result.

“We wanted to get our noses in front and then see what they would do.

“Tactically, we got it right; keep it tight defensively and try to sneak a goal at the other end if we could.”