ROYAL Wootton Bassett Ladies will have to be at their sharp best to retain top spot of the South West Women’s Football League Premier Division for Christmas.

Ladies travel to face unbeaten Portishead Town in their latest league fixture on Sunday (2pm) and will hoping to reclaim the bragging rights following a one-goal loss in the Women’s FA Cup back in October.

Jonny House’s girls were set back last weekend when their trip to Cornwall to tackle promotion hopefuls Callington was postponed on the morning of kick-off.

Fortunately, the Bassett squad had only just turned onto the M5 when they received the news – so they dodged what could’ve been a frustrating six-hour round trip.

With the league breaking for three weeks after this weekend, though, the Bassett joint boss appreciates recording win number seven will stand the club in good stead come 2020 – that’s without mentioning the possible launch of a promotion push.

“Portishead were a good side, they’d only played one league game when we last faced them (in the FA Cup),” said House.

“They went on a decent run after they beat us, though I thought we deserved to win on the day.

“It was a case of smash and grab for them, we completely dominated. Saying that, they were a little bit off it.

“This game will be a big one for us. A win would grant us a bit of breathing space.

“Portishead are certainly going to be in at least the top four. To get a win over them and be possibly six points clear at Christmas would be massive.

“But they are a good side - this game won’t be easy.”

Last week’s break did at least grant Ladies some time to recover from a number of minor injury knocks.

But for House, he would much rather see his talented squad play week in, week out, than bank on fixture breaks to recuperate.

“We’ve had to manage a few niggles, but from our point of view we want to continue playing.

“If we win on Sunday, it’s easy to say it’s because we had a week off. But I’d rather be playing every week.

“You can only tell if it’s good or bad to have weeks off in hindsight.”