CHESHAM United manager Andy Leese says his team are playing better now than at any time since he took over nearly seven years ago.

The Generals beat St Neots Town 3-0 last weekend to make it 12 victories in a row in all competitions and turn up the heat on leaders Hemel Hempstead in what is turning into an extraordinary title race at the top of the Southern Premier League.

Leese, who has guided his squad to the play-offs four seasons out of the last five, said: “We’re playing the best football since I’ve been here, without a doubt.

“We have exceeded all expectations with this run we’ve been on. We had 18 games unbeaten at the end of last season but this is another level.

“It’s an absolute pleasure to watch and I’d say to supporters to savour this and make the most of the next month – this may be as good as it gets.”

Chesham rattled in another three goals last weekend with Chris Dillon scoring either side of a Toby Little goal.

At the same time, Hemel were being held to a 0-0 draw by third-placed St Albans City to cut the gap to seven points.

Chesham also have a game in hand and must still play Hemel on Easter Monday.

Leese said: “It’s frustrating that we’ve got 88 points and still aren’t top of the league, but it’s still all to play for.

“We’d be silly to write us off now but we’ve still got to go to Hemel and beat them there.”

Chesham are the team in form though. They have been eroding Hemel’s advantage gradually and after eight months of slog still look as sprightly as they did in September.

Leese said: “Having no midweek games is helping us enormously. We’re not spending Thursday’s recovering and there are certainly no signs of nerves.

“We’re in great shape, the players are itching to get out on the pitch and play again. It couldn’t be better.”

On Saturday they go to Bideford, who still have outside play-off hopes, but Chesham will make the long trip on the back of another conclusive victory last weekend.

Leese said: “They had a player sent off after 20 minutes and that helped us get the ascendancy. But we had control when they had 11 players and played the game with real tempo.

“We were very sharp on the ball and scored a few well-worked goals.

“Bideford will be tough though. It’s a long trip and they have improved from last year. But we’re in good shape.”