WITTON Albion manager Carl Macauley insists the league table counts for nothing when his side take on the best teams.

A 1-0 win over leaders Nantwich on New Year’s Day was the perfect pick-me-up after impressive performances against two other promotion hopefuls – Warrington and Farsley Celtic – went unrewarded at Christmas.

A South Shields side that are unbeaten in 10 matches visit Wincham Park on Saturday.

“It was massive for us to beat Nantwich,” said Macauley.

“The other clubs at the top of the table might say that we’ve done them a favour, but I’d prefer to say that it’s more evidence that we’re a tough opponent for anybody.

“There are only small margins between teams in this league; look at what happened last week when we played two other sides in the play-offs positions – they both needed late goals to beat us.

“We weren’t far away, and it was important to remember that on New Year’s Day.

“I felt we showed a determination to get over the line that deserved a reward.”

READ > Nantwich 0-1 Witton: match report

Witton have now completed half of their matches, and occupy 14th position in the Northern Premier League’s top-flight.

However they still have at least three games in hand on every rival above them outside of the top five.

While refusing to look too far ahead, Macauley told the Guardian he believes Albion have been on an upward curve for the past six weeks.

“Before the games at Christmas we’d put together our longest unbeaten run of the season,” he added.

“To win away from home against opponents who are top of the table will give the lads a huge lift.

“You could see that after the final whistle when they celebrated like we had won a cup final!

“That’s just relief coming out after being floored by sucker punches in the two games that we’d played before that.”

READ > Nantwich 0-1 Witton: talking points

He will potentially be looking to strengthen a squad shorn of Michael Wilson, who has signed for Clitheroe, and Jordan Lussey in the past fortnight.

The latter has accepted an offer from National League North side Nuneaton Borough, and made his debut in a 2-1 defeat at home to AFC Telford United on New Year's Day.

He made three starts during a brief stay at Wincham Park.

Meanwhile Danny McKenna has recovered from an ankle injury, appearing as a second-half substitute in each of the past two games.

Cesaire (groin) was also on the bench at Nantwich.