LUDLOW Colts are hoping to be the Herefordshire League’s ‘invincibles’ this season – but boss Scott Mackenzie admits January is a ‘pivotal month’ for that lofty aim.

Colts regained top spot in Division One on Saturday, deposing previous leaders Hinton Reserves by beating them 3-1 at Ludlow Stadium to maintain their unbeaten league record this season.

Ludlow sit a point above Hinton but with four games in hand, meaning their title hopes are in their own hands at the halfway point of the season.

They have won nine and drawn one of their ten matches thus far and Mackenzie says an undefeated league campaign is the aim.

That ambition will be tested in the coming weeks as Colts face fifth-placed Bartestree home and away either side of entertaining third-placed Orleton in a tasty local derby.

Mackenzie said: “When we saw the fixtures for January come out we knew it would be a pivotal month with Hinton, then Bartestree, who are decent, and Orleton, who we have a great rivalry with.

“It’s going to be very difficult to stay unbeaten through the season but that’s got to be our plan – we don’t want to give anyone else fresh hope and we don’t want our confidence to dip.

“We don’t want to be beaten and that has to be our mentality.

“The title is ours to lose but we are keeping the players’ feet on the ground because I remember when this happened at Woofferton in the past.

“They started off really well but lost players to injury and fell to the wayside. So I don’t want to say it’s all sorted because a lot can still happen.”

Hinton had snatched top spot from Ludlow by winning just before Christmas but never looked like hanging on to it in the face of an early Colts flurry.

Jabez Smith hit the crossbar in the opening stages before Ludlow took a ninth-minute lead through Jamil Kezze after great work down the right from Dan Griffiths.

Hinton’s first chance almost yielded an equaliser but Colts keeper Kieron Roche made a superb save and Ludlow had a let-off when a free-kick flew in but was disallowed as it should have been indirect.

Ludlow again flew out of the blocks after the break as Griffiths again set up Kezze to make it 2-0 on 55 minutes and Rhys Lewis teed up Griffiths for the third before Hinton netted a late consolation.

The only blots for Ludlow were injuries to central defensive pair Nathan Priday and Martyn Jones, with Mackenzie labelling the pair’s fitness key to any hopes of staying unbeaten.

Mackenzie added: “We are hoping it’s nothing too serious and we got them off in time. They have been outstanding for us and if anything happened to either of them, it would be disastrous.

“Having said that, we had a 16-year-old, Rhys Lewis, who came on for Nathan, and he was outstanding for such a young lad in such a big game.”