Winchester City’s assistant boss Barry Blankley has been around non-League football for a long time, but he has never known a league as competitive as this season’s Evo-Stik South West.

The Citizens head to Evesham United on Saturday with both teams poised just outside the play-off zone and with just four points separating AFC Totton in third place and Dicot Town in tenth.

Following last weekend’s morale-boosting 3-0 home win over Slimbridge, Winchester are still very much in the mix in ninth spot, two points behind seventhplaced Evesham with a game in hand.

The only significant gap in the top half of the table is the nine-point chasm that separates Totton and second-placed Salisbury, who are hot favourites to claim the second automatic promotion spot alongside runaway league leaders Taunton Town.

“It’s one of the tightest leagues I’ve ever been involved in,” said Blankley, Craig Davis’s right-hand man at the Simplyhealth City Ground.

“Usually you have a top five or six, a middle section of ten or so and maybe five down near the bottom.

“But this season anyone can beat anyone. You can be up there one minute and the next you’re down to tenth.

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