CHESHAM United manager Andy Leese believes Hemel Hempstead Town are champions-elect and the rest of the Southern Premier League are scrapping for the play-off spots.

Hemel beat Chesham 3-1 on New Year's Day and are now 11 points clear at the top, with more wins and more goals than anyone else.

Leese said: “They look like the team that’s going to win the league, and win it by some margin, breaking a few records.

“It would take a monumental turnaround to change it now. They’d have to lose five games and we’d have to win five – but a side with title credentials doesn’t do that.

“I’m not defeatist, I’m not ruling out any outcome, but it looks like the rest of us are scrapping for the play-off places.

“We’ve just got to maintain a top five position. If it’s first, second or third, even better, but any one of those positions will do.”

Chesham will have to regroup to do it though.

Draws with St Albans and Arlesey preceded the Hemel loss making it two points from nine over Christmas.

With a defeat to Saturday’s opponents Biggleswade Town before that, the Generals are winless in four.

Leese said: “It’s been a disappointing Christmas period, but I’d like to think it’s just an indifferent spell.

“We’ve had a few team meetings to try and iron it out and I think we’re all on the same page again.

“We’re ready to go again, and we need to remember we’re in a position that 20 other teams would love to be in.”