RYMAN ONE NORTH: Maldon & Tiptree assistant boss Jody Brown says Grays are his team's main rivals.
He said: "WE have got a major challenge on our hands at the top of the Ryman Division One North table.
"Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Cheshunt was compounded by more wins for Heybridge Swifts and Thamesmead Town.
"Our lead is being chipped away and we know it’s going to be tough – but then we always knew that was going to be the case.
"Consistency is the biggest challenge in non-league football.
"They’re part-time players and it was always going to be impossible to sail through the whole season.
"Of all the teams in the mix, I personally feel our biggest challenge is going to come from Grays Athletic.
"They’re fifth at the moment but, crucially, they’ve got three games in hand on us (one of them was due to be played last night, at Aveley).
"If they win them all, they’ll only be four points adrift and they’re a big club with big resources.
"They’re going to push us all the way."