HALESOWEN Town's battle to beat the drop has only just begun, says assistant manager Matt Clarke.

The Yeltz gave their survival chances a big boost last Saturday thanks to a fine 3-1 success over Nantwich Town.

Former West Brom forward Lee Hughes fired home a double on his second start for the club after midfielder Ivor Lawton had opened the scoring.

However, relegation rivals Sutton Coldfield remain only three points adrift at the bottom after they also picked up a valuable victory of their own at the weekend.

Clarke said: "It was a massive win for us, especially because Nantwich is not an easy place to go.

"We fully deserved to win and could have been two or three goals up even before we got the first.

"To concede soon after was a blow but we carried on and managed to pull away. We then defended very well in the last half an hour.

"It was great for Lee Hughes to get on the scoresheet too. His record shows you that wherever he goes he scores goals. That is why we brought him in.

"There is still a long way to go this season and that battle to stay up is only just starting to heat up now. There will be a lot of twists and turns along the way.

"We want to try and drag a few others into it as well if possible.

"There is a lot of hard work for us to do but we are aware of that and are confident we can do it."

Despite Hughes quickly showing his finishing prowess, it was the impact of right-back Enock Ekongo that won the praise of Clarke.

The consistent defender set up both of Hughes' goals to continue an impressive campaign.

The assistant boss added: "He came to the club and watched a game and asked us for a trial. He was very persistent and has since gone from strength-to-strength for us.

"There are areas of his game that he still needs to work on but he has been consistent and important for us."

The Yeltz now face a tough test at league leaders Altrincham this Saturday.

Clarke said: "We've watched them and think there are a few areas we can exploit.

"We'll have to be at our very best. It's going to be difficult but we are confident at the moment."

The Yeltz management team are working to add a few new face before Thursday's transfer deadline but nothing is close at the moment.

They are hopeful, however, that Jack Kelly (hamstring) and Ahmed Ali (heel) will be available for the weekend.