COLDSTREAM have laid down the gauntlet to their title rivals by going 12 points clear at the top, but manager Andrew Gibson is urging his squad to keep their focus over the festive break.
The Streamers have a chance to extend their lead even further at Peebles Rovers this weekend before the two-week break.
But even if the game is called off, Gibson will be pleased with what his team have achieved in December.
Successive fixtures against Gala Fairydean, Eyemouth United and Leith Athletic were always going to be a test of Coldstream’s capacity to maintain their winning momentum against the top teams.
But after picking up seven points out of nine by defeating Gala and Leith, and drawing with Eyemouth, Gibson’s men are now the only unbeaten team in the First Division. The chasing pack are slipping further behind.
“I did say if we came out of the four games with 12 points then we’ll win the league,” said Gibson, who is considering a move for Craigroyston defender Kenny Manson to bolster his squad. “But if we get ten points, weather permitting... I’ll be very pleased with that. Leith and Craigroyston have lots of games in hand. But we have put the points on the board. Only Leith can catch us if they win their games in hand. It could be between us, Leith, Craigroyston and I think Gala will be in with a say. If Eyemouth play like they did in the first 45 minutes against us they’ll take points off a lot of teams.
“But there is a long way to go. The festive break is coming at a bad time for us because we are winning games and playing well. We’ve just got to make sure we keep our focus and start the new year like we are ending 2012.”
Eyemouth boss Carl Hudson could never have foreseen his team in third place at this stage of the season. “Any team that starts off in pre-season with five signed players in the squad, to be sitting where we are at the moment ... I’ve got to be pleased,” said Hudson, whose team host Duns in a derby clash this weekend.
“I said to the lads that there is absolutely no pressure on us this year. We’ll just try to consolidate and build on it for next season.
“Eleven players, in total, left the club. One has now returned. But to be without ten players, that is nearly a whole football team. The lads that have come in have done us proud.”