HOME form has been the backbone of a promising season so far for Witton Albion.

Wincham Park has been a devilishly difficult place to come for BetVictor Northern Premier Division sides this season ¬– only three of the nine visiting teams have left with any points thus far.

Grantham Town will be the next to try and crack the code on Saturday, kick off 3pm, and Albion will be hoping to extend their good recent form.

Carl Macauley’s men have tasted defeat in only one of their past nine league games as they sit just two points outside the play-off spots.

Midfielder Billy Smart says turning their home turf into a fortress was a big priority for the squad.

“If you want to do well in the league, the very least you have to do is win your home games and pick up what you can away from home,” he said.

“At the beginning of the season, it was a goal of ours to make sure Witton is not a nice place to come to for teams.

“We lost a few home games last year and we don’t want teams to be thinking coming to Wincham Park won’t be that bad.

“We thought it was important to turn that on its head.

“Now, teams coming to Witton know how hard it is to take points from us at home. Psychologically, that is really important before the game even starts.

“Especially if we get an early goal as well. If we score early then, heads go down even more.”

Smart has been a key part of Witton’s promising start and has found himself among the goals. He has five this season, including three in his past four appearances.

He may not have continued his run in Saturday’s goalless draw at Hyde United, but he is already ahead of where he was last season.

“I’ve been getting a bit of luck and getting in the right places,” he said.

“I’ve already scored more than I did last year and it’s always nice to be on the scoresheet.

“We haven’t really got that striker who will score 20-30 goals per season so it’s important that the midfield and defence chips in with goals.

“With losing Rob Hopley and Jay Foley to injury, most of our goals from last season have gone.

“Rob was hard to replace in terms of goals, especially so late in pre-season.

“Everyone knows we’re relying on the whole team to score.”