Rustington Football Club boss Jon Tucker is still dreaming of a memorable treble this season.
Blues’ hopes of lifting the Southern Combination League Division 2 title have been made tougher after they lost six points with Lancing United’s withdrawal – which has seen them drop from second to fifth.
Rustington were well-placed, just a point behind leaders Alfold. They are now four places and seven points off top spot but they do have several games in hand on all the teams above them.
Blues boss Tucker knows the dream treble is getting tougher all the time but, while his side remain in the Sussex Intermediate and SCFL Division 2 Challenge Cup competitions, as well as in the hunt for the title, he will continue to hope.
“It’s been made even more difficult for us after losing six points – we’re just about halfway through our season,” Tucker admitted.
“I really do feel for Lancing United, I know Glenn (Souter; Lancing United director) has put his heart and soul into that club.
“What I can see now is a real backlog of fixtures for us, potentially some midweek matches between now and the end of the season.
“I’ve not got the biggest squad, we’ve got no reserve team, so it’s going to be a tall order. But will be do everything we can to make this a season to remember.”
Blues had arrived at second-placed Roffey for what looked to be a crucial match on Saturday, only for the referee to deem the pitch unplayable before kick-off.
The postponement will only add to the games Rustington face between now and the end of the season.
Should Rustington lift the Sussex Intermediate and League Cup competitions, along with the league title, they will have to negotiate another 18 games.
It looks a tall order and Tucker knows how tricky it will be.
He said: “Another game was off on Saturday, which I felt could have been played.
“Myself and the team have played on much worse, I’m not going to complain, officials have it tough enough – it just adds another game to what is already looking a busy schedule.”
The next month or so will be season-defining for Blues. Successive league games see them take on second-from-bottom Clymping on Saturday and then basement boys Ferring.
Rustington then have a Sussex Intermediate Cup semi-final and a League Cup quarter-final.
Tucker admits things can change quickly in football and hopes of lifting any trophy this season could be dashed in less than four weeks.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that this time in a month or so what are hopes of a trouble now, could finish with us just seeing out our remaining league matches.
“This is a massive five fixtures or so if we want to achieve our dreams this season.”