Bury Town begin their most hectic month of the season looking to banish their Ram Meadow blues to ensure another promotion bid does not follow a repeat pattern of fading away.
Following Saturday’s disappointing 4-1 defeat at Waltham Abbey, the Blues now find themselves four places and four points below the top six.
Tomorrow’s visit of fifth-place Barking (3pm) signals the start of five home games in eight matches during a packed December and presents a golden opportunity to make up some ground.
But to do so, they will need to arrest some worrying home form, with Bury having only tasted victory at Ram Meadow in two of their nine league matches so far, drawing four and losing three.
They have no wins in their last three, though they did take a point from the most recent two, Bowers & Pitsea (0-0) and Norwich United (2-2).
Manager Ben Chenery does not believe, however, there is an issue in his squad with playing on home turf, and believes the victories will soon arrive if they stick to what they are doing.
“Our performances at home have been okay,” he said.
“We just need to get that final killer ball into the box right.
“We have been more than a match for the teams around us, but we do know we have got to be better at putting the ball in the net.
“When we play home games, we get good crowds and we are the best supported team in our league and probably Suffolk. And with that comes pressure, of course.
“We are a scalp for teams when they come here as well and they probably raise their game an extra 10 per cent.
“But I am a great believer that if you keep doing the right things, which we are, it will come and you will get your rewards.”
He added: “Aside from the Hornchurch game (4-1, August 26) we have not been out-played at home.
“I have not got a problem with our home form, it is just that we have picked up more points away, for whatever reasons.”
Following Saturday’s game, Bury head to Mildenhall Town (19th) for a Suffolk derby on Tuesday (7.45pm), with Chenery expecting a tough test, despite injury-hit Hall having gone nine league games without a win.
“We are a big football club and, with the greatest respect, they will be wanting to turn us over,” he said.
“It will be like a cup game with form going out of the window and will be a tough place to go.”
Midfielder Noel Aitkens (illness) is rated doubtful for tomorrow in an otherwise fit squad.