Buckie Thistle’s Sam Pugh is relishing is his first experience of trying to win the Breedon Highland League.
The midfielder has been an important part of the Jags side which has won their last 14 league fixtures.
Graeme Stewart’s men are second in the table behind Fraserburgh on goal difference as the season approaches its conclusion.
Buckie have a core of experienced players such as Kevin Fraser, Hamish Munro, Kevin Main and Shaun Wood, who have all won the Highland League title before.
But for Pugh and a number of others within the Victoria Park squad, this is new territory.
The 24-year-old said: “It’s good that we’ve got a few boys that have been there and done it and we can use their experience on the run-in.
“But it’s also new to a lot of us and I don’t think we’ll feel the pressure because most of us don’t know what it’s like.
“So we’ll just keep working away one game at a time.
“I think we’ve been a bit under the radar until after Christmas time.
“We’ve put a wee run together and found ourselves up at the top, but we’re not getting carried away.
“There’s a long way to go yet and we’ve got to keep it a game at a time and try to keep going.”
Pugh pleased after Covid nightmare
Pugh joined Buckie in April 2020 after returning from a spell in America on a scholarship.
With last season cut short because of Covid-19, he has enjoyed featuring regularly for the Jags this term.
He added: “Last season was a bit of a nightmare, it was my first year back home and I really wanted to get going.
“But, with Covid, that put a stop to things and was a bit of nuisance.
“But I’m delighted with how this season is going and I just want to keep it going.”
Jags saw off Hedgemen
Having beaten title rivals Fraserburgh last Wednesday, Buckie continued their challenge with a gritty 1-0 win against Brechin City on Saturday.
The Moray side did have a stroke of luck with their winner as Max Barry’s deflected free-kick squirmed through the hands of goalkeeper Jack Wills.
Pugh said: “We knew it was going to be tough because Brechin are a good side and we’d had a hard game on Wednesday as well.
“The conditions made it more difficult for us and it wasn’t pretty, but we got there in the end.
“It was a good win and it was a game where we had to grind it out.
“It was all about who was going to win the battles and there were some heavy legs in our team and it was a slog, but we got there in the end.
“It was a nice start for us with the early goal.
“We didn’t really create much after that, so we were lucky to get that goal, but we’re delighted to get the win.”