STEETON manager Roy Mason has admitted he is struggling to understand how his side are still bottom of the North West Counties League First Division North table, given that they have three wins in their last six and are averaging nearly a point a game.

He conceded that there is little to choose between the vast majority of the teams, which he feels has led to a situation where everyone fancies their chances of winning, regardless of the opposition.

It means Mason is confident going into Steeton's home game with top-half side Ashton Town on Saturday, which will hopefully go ahead after their last two (against Bacup Borough and Daisy Hill) were abandoned and postponed respectively due to bad weather.

Discussing Steeton's current situation, Mason said: "It's unprecedented that we're bottom with 22 points (from 24 games). Atherton finished bottom last year with just 13 points all season.

"A mate told me that it's the tightest league in England at the moment and that's probably because everyone feels they can beat anyone.

"We don't fear anyone. Probably the one stand out team that we've faced all season is AFC Liverpool and we've already played them twice.

"When we visited Ashton (in the reverse fixture), they were on a really good run of form and yet we were disappointed with only a draw.

"Their manager has left since then and it's become tougher for them. They've had some bad results and we need to capitalise on that."

Mason added: "There's 38 games in a season and I think people sometimes get carried away with what happens in the first two or three months.

"We've been quietly confident all season that we're better than our position suggests. We're confident in what we do and we'll keep doing all we can.

"We're looking stronger now, as we've added to the squad and we have some players that have returned from injuries.

"There's 42 points left to play for and we still feel we can get more than we did last year."

One player who could be crucial to them picking up points is the in-form Luke Baldwin. The midfielder signed from district rivals Silsden almost exactly a year ago and has come through a tumultuous period to shine for The Chevrons.

He has scored five in his last six games and Mason said: "I'm massively pleased for Luke. He had a tough pre-season and briefly went elsewhere.

"But he's come back now and his attitude has been fantastic. He's scoring plenty and he's a real threat for us.

"He's starting to become the player we all knew he could be for us."

Baldwin will surely be frustrated that the momentum he has built up has been halted in the last couple of weeks.

He scored in a defeat to Chadderton on January 8, but Steeton have not played since after the aforementioned washouts.

Addressing that, Mason said: "It's been massively frustrating.

"We'd trained really well and were prepared for the Daisy Hill game. But Friday night's weather made the pitch impossible to play on.

"It's annoying because we only got 45 minutes (at Bacup) the week before too."