ALDERSHOT Town entertain one of their biggest title rivals at the Rec tonight (Tuesday) to start a month which could make or break their season.
After an inactive start due to ailing finances, Kingstonian have emerged as one of the main runners in the premier division title race having lost just twice in their 17 games so far.
They may lie ten points behind the Shots in tenth position, but victory in their two games in hand could escalate them back into contention.
Shots boss Terry Brown has been on his travels in recent weeks, checking out all of his main title rivals as the race for the championship hots up.
And with Kingstonian, new leaders Purfleet - 6-0 victors over Chesham on Saturday - and St Albans all to play in the next few weeks, he knows this could be an extremely crucial period if his side are to finally realise their dream of Conference football.
He said: "The table looks wide open doesn't it, this is a crucial period for us.
"I saw Kingstonian play in the Ryman League Cup at Slough last week and I was very impressed with them. But I've also seen Purfleet, St Albans, Canvey Island and Basingstoke over the last couple of weeks and know there is going to be a strong challenge for us.
"I have to say after seeing Purfleet beat Canvey, I think they look the strongest, although Basingstoke have the lad McAllister up front, who has scored 15 goals already this season.
"Kingstonian though will be a very tough game for us. Steve Sedgley has done a great job keeping them there and I can't see them fade away. They will be there or thereabouts come the end of the season."
The K's, who like the Shots were out of action due to the weather on Saturday, go into theis match on the back of just one win in five, but they certainly have the personnel to pose Brown's men a few problems.
Goalkeeper Lance Key and midfielder Dave Clarke both have Conference experience, while Shots fans will be well aware of their former Hampton pairing at the back of Matt Flitter and Peter Barnsby, who know exactly how to play at the Rec.
The K's also boast ex-Farnborough Town winger Phil Wingfield and Scott Steele, recently recruited from Woking.
But the man of the moment is ex-Camberley Town and Basingstoke striker Tim Sills, who has scored seven goals in his last three games - a run which has taken him to second in the premier division scoring charts.
The good news for Brown though is that Saturday's postponement at Hendon for a waterlogged pitch, has given his players ample time to recover from various niggling injuries and illness.
The flu bug which has swept through the Rec training ground, capturing Roscoe D'sane, Paul Moody, Dominic Sterling and Jamie Taylor, has eased, leaving all four back and ready for selection tonight.
Nick Roddis and Anthony Charles should both recover from hamstring pulls to figure in Brown's plans tonight. With the nature of their injuries and the state of pitches at the moment, neither would have played on Saturday.
Brown, however, is without Dean Hooper, who has to have a scan on an ankle injury, and Lee Holsgrove, who sits out a one-match suspension. Richard Gell stands by to take over Hooper's right wing back role.
The boss was out and about again on Monday night in the search for a replacement for the departed Karl Ready.
With Sterling, Anthony Cousins and skipper Jason Cousins all back from recent niggles, time is not necessarily of the essence for Brown, although one of his several on-loan targets could be in line for a debut in the big game with Purfleet on December 7, or maybe even the FA Trophy clash with Worcester City this Saturday, if not cup-tied.