The champagne is on ice for a huge promotion party should in-form Accrington Stanley secure their eighth victory in a row.
One more win at the Wham Stadium on Saturday would secure an historic spot in League One next season, where the Reds would play at their highest level since the club’s reformation 50 years ago.
Even should they fall short this weekend against Exeter City, Stanley would still have five more games to find the required points, starting at home to Yeovil Town next Tuesday night.
While Stanley fans are pinching themselves after their astonishing winning run continued at Colchester last weekend, many will not allow themselves to feel the job is quite done - especially after the club fell out of the automatic promotion spots on the final game of the season two years ago.
Stanley supporters’ club chairman Peter Leatham said he is ‘cautious but optimistic’ about the team’s prospects.
He said: “Nobody is counting their chickens yet. But the difference is we only had 90 minutes to confirm promotion in 2016 and if we trip up against Exeter there are still several games to go.
“It’s been great to see so many new faces and fans from the past returning to the ground in recent weeks and I hope they stick around in the future.”
One person who will be hoping beyond hope that the Reds triumph is ex-goalkeeper Willie McInnes, 87, a Scot who played for Stanley from 1953 until shortly before their resignation from the Football League in 1962.
Willie, who hails from Lesmahagow, south of Glasgow, moved with his wife Elizabeth to Huncoat and settled there, running the village chip shop on Station Road for many years after he retired from football.
He said: “I’m thrilled to see the side at the top of the league. Every week I follow the score and have been amazed at how well they’re doing.
“Stanley are a special club. I was welcomed here by everybody in the town when I moved down. It was a black day for me when the team withdrew from the league as I had so many memories, including playing with many other Scottish players for Stanley.
“I had a feeling they would do well this season so I had a little bet on them getting promoted. I got 25-1 so they better not let me down.”
The club has been facing huge demand for tickets and fans are urged to buy in advance for Saturday’s crunch game.