SHAWBURY United boss Dave Richards believes victory at home to Smethwick Rangers this weekend will secure his side’s West Midlands Premier Division status.

With two sides set to be relegated from the league’s top-flight – according to the parameters set out at the start of the season – fourth-bottom Shawbury sit four points above the drop zone.

Shawbury only have three games left to improve that position and this Saturday’s game against a Smethwick side just three places above them is their best chance, on paper, to do so.

Richards said: “We are in a similar position to last year but in a different league (when Shawbury were relegated from the Midland Premier).

“I didn’t think we would be in this position again but anything can happen in football and players leaving has meant we have had a total rebuilding job.

“I said before Christmas when it became apparent that we were in a dogfight that we would need to pick up points against teams in and around us.

“If we beat Smethwick that would mean we have picked up seven points out of 12 against them, Pershore, Pegasus Juniors and Dudley Sports in recent weeks.

“We are on 30 points are looking to get to 32 or 33 which, from last season, is the mark you need to stay in the league, so we need three more points.

“The difficulty for us is that we are relying on other teams because our rivals have games in hand, but we just need to rally around as a squad to get the three or four points I think will keep us safe.”

In West Mids Two, second-placed Church Stretton find their promotion charge back in their own hands with one game to go after third-placed rivals FC Darlaston were thrashed 5-1 at Hawkins Sports.