Burgess Hill manager Gary Croydon has dismissed suggestions that the race for the County League division one championship is over, even though his side have a 13-point lead at the top.

Croydon said: "I was reading the non-league paper and they were saying the league is over. That is absolute rubbish.

"I cannot believe people are thinking like that or talking like that. There is still half the season to go and double the points again so it is a stupid thing to say.

"Anybody who thinks that it is over must be mad."

Whatever Croydon believes, there is no doubting that the Hillians are in a commanding position on 51 points, with last season's champions Sidley heading the chasing pack, along with Three Bridges and Selsey.

Sidley, who have played two games less than Hillians, trail by 13 points. Bridges are also on 38 points, having played the same number of games as Croydon's men.

Croydon added: "It's no secret we are building for the Southern League but we cannot go up this season so we have to roll it over for two years.

"We have to be strong and continue to be strong. We cannot look to the past and need to keep a squad which is good enough to compete in the Southern League."

He added: "I think the County League has vastly improved.

"I look at clubs like Lewes and Horsham in the Ryman League and how well they are doing, and they have players who have come through the County League.

"The County League is much-maligned at times but it shouldn't be."

The Hillians travel to Chichester City United tomorrow hoping to extend their winning run to a staggering 20 matches.

Croydon and his assistant Danny Bloor have taken over the running of the club's under-18 side following the resignation of Mike Cooper due to work commitments.