AS January turns to February and the weather gets ever colder, the sharp end of the football season looms large on the horizon.

It may be the shortest month in the calendar, but it is an absolutely huge one for Warrington Town.

Their dream of a place in the National League North is very much alive as they are locked in an intense fight at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

The top four sides – Yellows, leaders South Shields, Farsley Celtic and Nantwich Town – are separated by just three points and nobody is showing any sign of budging.

However, come the end of this month we will know just how serious Town’s title credentials are.

They play five games this month – three of them against sides in the top six.

Weather permitting of course, Yellows are due to travel to Gainsborough Trinity – who are one point outside the play-off spots with a game in hand – on Saturday.

A home game against Hednesford Town follows before a daunting trip to South Shields on February 16.

Warrington Guardian:

Yellows beat South Shields 3-0 in September and face them in the north east on February 16. Picture by John Hopkins

The Mariners were the pre-season favourites for promotion and after a sticky start, they are currently on a 15-game unbeaten run which has seen them open up a three-point lead at the summit.

Yellows beat them 3-0 back in September but it is their home form that has been most impressive. 13 teams have visited Mariners Park this season – none have come back with points.

The following week, Nantwich Town – perhaps the most surprising challengers – come to Cantilever Park before the month ends with a trip to struggling Workington.

The final fixture may appear the most presentable on paper with the Reds marooned inside the relegation zone, but any trip up the M6 on a cold Tuesday night will test the mettle of any side.

Thankfully, however, mettle and desire is something this Yellows side have in plentiful supply.

They simply do not know when they are beaten, typified by the number of late goals they have scored this season – Town have gained eight points thanks to goals scored in the 85th minute or later this campaign.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Town have gained eight points with goals in the 85th minute or later. Picture by John Hopkins

That plus a defensive record which far outstrips anybody else in the division puts them in an outstanding position.

By the time March rolls around, there will be 10 games remaining.

Only two of those games will be against sides currently in the top six – both at home against Gainsborough on March 30 and Scarborough Athletic on April 13.

At the moment, it would seem only an alarming drop in form would see them finish outside the play-offs – Town are seven points clear of sixth-place Trinity having played a game less and a further eight clear of Basford United in seventh.

However, if they are still in touch with the leaders at the end of February, we could be looking at a title challenge.

Either way, a crucial 28 days awaits…