OSWALDTWISTLE IMMANUEL skipper Gerard Metcalf admits his side faces a make or break spell in their quest to climb the Veka Ribblesdale League.
Oswaldtwistle slipped into the bottom two with last Saturday's derby defeat to high-flying Baxenden.
But with their next three games all against sides around them in the table, starting with tomorrow's visit of basement side Barnoldswick, Metcalf is looking to turn the tide.
He said: "We have had a run of playing sides near the top and now we are playing the other bottom-four sides.
"If we maintain our level of performance hopefully we can pick up a few points in the next few games. The next three games are critical. If we could get three wins we would probably pull away from where we are but if get nothing we will be rock-bottom."
Immanuel face trips to Blackburn Northern and Edenfield but first entertain a Barnoldswick side still looking for its first win of the season.
"It's a big game, and a difficult one," Metcalf added.
"I think they are in a bit of a false position. Looking at their side on paper they have got some good players so it's a bit of a surprise to see them down there.
"But they must be there for a reason and hopefully we can keep them down there.
"It's an important game for us. We are confident playing on our own ground so hopefully we can get a win under our belts to start a bit of a run."
Metcalf believes his side's performances have merited greater reward this season and they did not go down without a fight against Baxenden.
Professional Ahmer Saeed collected five wickets but 42 from opener Callum Waddington and Simon Payne's half-century allowed Baxenden to recover from a shaky start to reach 199-7.
Oswaldtwistle also lost early early wickets before Paul Dignan and Metcalf steadied the ship to lay the platform for a run-chase.
But despite an unbeaten 34 from Mark Roberts the regular fall of wickets allowed Baxenden to apply the brakes and take maximum points with professional.
Alan Armer's reign as Great Harwood captain got off to a losing start at Settle.
The champions won by 32 runs thanks largely to professional Saj Fernando, who scored 105 and then took 5-37 as Harwood were restricted to 179-8, despite a half-century from Michael Howarth.
Harwood are also facing a run-chase when they resume their Ramsbottom Cup quarter-final at Cherry Tree on Sunday. At 31-1, having lost Russell Whalley, Harwood need a further 190 in 40 overs to make it through.