CHESHAM United will play for the Southern Premier League crown this Easter and, finally, after 13 wins in a row, the destiny of the title is in their own hands.
They won 4-1 at Bideford last Saturday to make it 36 points out of the last 36 available in a winning sequence now stretching 13 games in all competitions.
At first leaders Hemel Hempstead had built up a double-digit lead and were impervious, but that lead had been sliced and shaved and is now five points.
That will become two if Chesham win their game in hand – at Poole on Thursday night – and if they can back it up with a win over Stourbridge on Saturday they will go to Hemel on Easter Monday knowing they would jump above them in the table with a victory.
Leese said: “It’s incredibly exciting. I don’t think there’s been a finish like this for years.
“Gone are the days of the midlands clubs dominating this league. Ourselves and Hemel are just a few miles apart and we deserve to be where we are.”
Goals from Jamies Potten (2), Drew Roberts and Alex Brown dismissed Bideford last weekend, and another professional away day got even better when they came back into the changing room to find out that Hemel had only drawn with Hitchin.
Leese said: “There was a recognition in the dressing room that it was in our hands, but there is too much experience in there to get carried away.
“I’m really proud we’ve got a chance to go up automatically, but it hasn’t changed anything. All we’ve done is earn the right to play to win it outright.
“It’s in our hands now but it’s a tall order. It sounds straightforward, but it’s four tough games and Hemel are still the favourites.
“They are a top side. But we’re going to do all we can to stop them. The challenge was to give ourselves a chance to win the league and that’s what we’ve done.
“Right now we’re the best side in the league. We’ve been working for this all year and we’ll relish the next few days.”