MALDON and Tiptree boss Terry Spillane says the hard work starts now, in terms of his side protecting their lead at the top of Ryman League division one north.

The Park Drive team’s match at home against Brentwood last night was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch, which meant they couldn’t increase their 11-point lead over second-placed Grays Athletic.

They remain the red-hot favourites to win the title, despite dropping points by drawing 2-2 at home to struggling Redbridge on Saturday.

But Spillane says the real challenge starts now – staying top until April.

“We’re top of the table and rightly so,” said the Park Drive boss. “The players deserve to be where they are, because of their fantastic efforts so far this season.

“But I firmly believe the hard part will be staying there. We’re there to be shot at and teams will put a real shift in against us, just as Redbridge did on Saturday.

“Players will run that bit faster, jump that bit higher and tackle that bit stronger against us and we’ve got to get used to it.”

Maldon face a trip to fellow high-fliers Thamesmead Town on Saturday.