ROSS Speight believes a victory for Middlewich Town in this weekend’s Mid-Cheshire District FA Challenge Cup final can act as a spur for next season.

The Witches crashed out of the President’s Cup last Saturday, so a meeting with Rudheath Social represents their remaining chance of success this term.

“It’s vital we win a trophy,” said Town’s co-manager.

“We have the quality, and winning trophy would help these lads to kick on in the future.”

They will need to improve though; a 3-2 defeat at home to Unicorn Athletic is their fourth in succession in all competitions.

Before that, they were unbeaten in eight games.

Speight said: “We’ve had key players missing through injury or unavailability, but even with them we need to concentrate better.

“Lapses at important moments in games, at both ends of the field, have cost us.”

They are preparing to take on opponents embroiled in a battle avoid being relegated from the Cheshire League’s Premier Division.

Rudheath ended an eight-match sequence without a victory when they beat Wythenshawe Town in midweek, leaving them five points clear of the relegation zone with three games left.

However Speight told the Guardian he expects a side managed by Graham Egerton and Ben Smith to welcome a distraction.

He added: “Rudheath play at a higher level than we do, and that makes them favourites.

“I expect them to be very strong, and to use every player they have at their disposal.

“That puts pressure on them though.”

Saturday’s contest, at Lostock Gralam’s Park Stadium, kicks off at 3pm.