VITAL points are at stake in the battle to beat the drop as Gresford Athletic entertain Corwen on Saturday afternoon.

Gresford have managed to climb clear of the relegation zone in recent weeks due to a good run of form, but are still looking over their shoulder with only a seven-point cushion to the bottom four.

Visiting Corwen are embroiled in the scrap at the bottom, sitting second from bottom, seven points from safety with 10 games remaining.

Given their current standings both teams know just how important picking up a positive result will be.

“Corwen will be dying to come and play us, they will be targeting teams like us,” said Gresford director of football Steve Halliwell.

“It’s probably more exciting at the bottom of the table than it is at the top and we are hoping to keep ourselves out of trouble.

“Our aim is to get all three points this weekend, which will be vital in our attempts to stay out of the bottom four.

“It’s a massive game, and although we’ve got a bit of a cushion, we know that the job isn’t done just yet.”

Corwen boss Sion Tudor Jones questioned whether the trip to Clappers Lane was more important than any other of his side’s last 10 games, but a positive result is certainly on the wishlist.

“Gresford have drifted away from us in recent weeks,” said Jones. “But we’ve only lost one of our last five games and I will be disappointed if we don’t get a positive result.

“We have been picking up points of late and now it’s about trying to turn draws into wins.”

Jones was in attendance as Gresford’s unbeaten run - stretching back to before Christmas - came to an end at Guilsfield on Saturday with Corwen enjoying a well earned break.

“There was not a lot going on on a very, very cold day, but Gresford showed that they are a good side, certainly defensively,” said Jones. “They pretty much play with four centre-halves and their back six, with Jon Hill-Dunt in goal, is very solid. The are hard to break down.

“I know Joe Chaplin from my time at Porthmadog and they’ve got quality in attack, so we know we will have to be at our best to beat them, but we will be ready.”

Corwen make the trip with virtually a fully fit squad, a contrast to their hosts, who have a number of selection problems to contend with.

Ashton Williams and Joe Culshaw, both sent-off at Guilsfield, are suspended, the latter earning a ticking off from his boss for his bizarre dismissal, which came as he waited to enter the pitch as a substitute.

Jordan MacCarter is set to miss the rest of the season with torn cartilage in his knee, while Adam Hesp (back) and Jake Eyre (groin) are rated doubtful.

“It’s a big blow losing Jordan,” said Halliwell, who has Nathan Williams and Josh Griffiths one booking away from a two-match ban. “Jake pulled out in the warm-up last week and Adam had to come off, so we will wait to see how they are.”

Rock-bottom Llanfair, 15 points from safety and eight shy of Corwen, head to Conwy Borough.