To say it’s been a good year for Blackhurst Budd is an understatement.
At the start of 2013, Steve Spencer’s side were mid-table in division one of the Blackpool and Fylde Sunday Alliance after a largely inconsistent start to the season.
Fast forward 12 months and it’s a totally different story.
The Lytham-based outfit breezed to the league title last season.
They also stunned everyone by reaching the Lancashire Cup final and they are currently unbeaten at the top of division one.
And boss Spencer is delighted with his team’s progress.
“It’s been a fantastic year for the club,” he said.
“Our aim was to hold our own and try for a credible finish in the higher division.
“We’ve managed to get off to a flying start, with wins against some of the league’s top sides.”
“We now have the belief we can win the title, but winning it is all about consistency and that is where my focus is.”
Results back up their manager’s claims.
Budd have so far passed big tests against the likes of Additions, Poulton, Northern Care and Cleveleys Working Mens club with flying colours.
They take a five-point lead at the top of the table into the Christmas break.
The club are sponsored by former Blackpool midfielder Charlie Adam and can often rely on the support of Lytham’s unbeaten professional boxer Scotty Cardle.
The side are known for their spirit, even hiring an open top bus to celebrate last season’s title win.
And it’s that which Spencer feels makes the club.
He added: “We have such a great team spirit at the club.
“It means we always turn up with the right attitude, which I believe is a fundamental part of our current success.”
Last Sunday, Budd faced Northern Care who had knocked them out of the Gledhill Cup two weeks earlier.
After Jackson Hume’s opener, Budd battled back to take a 2-1 lead.
First Nick Greenall levelled with a stunning left-foot drive, before Jordan Cobb turned a Ric Sear cross into his own goal.
It was a hugely competitive game, and Care eventually got a deserved point when Liam Smith headed home five minutes from time.
The result left Budd in a commanding position at the top of the table but boss Spencer insists there’s a long way to go.
“We are at the top but football can change quickly.
“We know if we play the way we can and prepare properly for every game we will be hard to beat.
“So far it’s going great and hopefully we can carry on our superb league form in the New Year.”