NEWPORT Town have one hand on the championship trophy after a comfortable 3-0 victory against rivals Ketley Bank United.
The result leaves Town six points clear of second-placed Ketley at the top of the Shropshire County Premier Division. Ketley have three games left, while Town have just two.
Town veteran Stephen Handley can almost see the bright floodlights of West Midlands Division One - but also insisted no-one in the camp will be taking anything for granted as they look to finish the job.
Handley beamed: “It was a massive result for us. If we don’t do it from this position then there’s something wrong, but we’re not getting carried away.
“We know there is still work to be done. Anything is possible with us.”
Town face whipping boys Impact United of Leegomery tomorrow at Shuker Field.
The bottom-of-the-table club have leaked an incredible 138 goals in 25 games.
They have suffered the embarrassment of losing by 10 or more on four occasions this season.
It could be seen as the ideal opportunity for Newport to make up the 10 goals goal difference on Ketley.
But Handley insists it’s all about results rather than performances from Newport as they bid to secure the title and promotion to the West Midlands League.
He said: “I would honestly take a 1-0 win right now, I really would.
Newport had their noses in front against Ketley after just 15 minutes.
Nicky Porter – playing for Town while enjoying a week off from neighbours Market Drayton Town – delivered the perfect corner for Handley to head home.
Five minutes later it was 2-0, when Christian Slade set up Jez Harman to slam simple half-volley into the net from eight yards.
From there on, it was nothing but plain sailing for confident Newport.
They should have had a chance to make it three.
Harman was clearly clipped when running through on goal, but the referee did not point to the penalty spot as expected.
Ketley did, however, have a chance from 12 yards but Town goalkeeper Martin Dunn easily saved a soft penalty from the home side.
And Ketley were down to 10 men after about 70 minutes for a coming together with Harman.
Slade – playing against the team he left just three weeks ago – made it 3-0 with just five minutes left.
Handley said: “We always knew that, if we turned up, we would be the better side.
“It was fairly comfortable in the end.”
Porter returns to Drayton this weekend, but Newport will be boosted by the return of Quinn brothers Martin and Paul.
Ketley, meanwhile, travel to Broseley Juniors.