SATURDAY'S victory against Hinckley United provided Worcester City with three more vital points in their quest for promotion from Nationwide North.

Significantly, however, the completion of that fixture now means City have played every team at least once this season.

With 18 games to go, Andy Preece's troops have tested themselves against all the league has to offer.

They currently sit ninth in the standings but Preece is of the belief his team is more than capable of beating any side in the division.

His quotes are well documented. After the 1-0 defeat at Farsley Celtic earlier this month, he said: "It will take a good team to beat us or a bad decision against us or a wonder strike because I don't think there's any team that we've come up against this season who are better than us."

Similar comments followed the Hinckley victory.

"We're more than capable of beating any side on our day," he said. "I think Droylsden and Kettering are the two best sides but I think we are somewhere near - and Harrogate are the other one."

He added: "I feel it's more in our hands. I don't think there'll be too many teams thinking it's in their hands where they finish. There's not many teams that can stop us.

"It's how we perform and that's all that matters."

In other words, Preece hasn't seen anything from the other 21 teams to give him sleepless nights.

If City were flirting with relegation - bear with me on this - they would be looking for three teams worse than themselves to take the plunge.

Similarly, with Worcester eyeing at least a play-off place, they will be wary of five better teams who could deny them.

And the reality is there aren't five better teams, not by what we've seen so far anyway. In their current form, City should fear no-one.

As far as Preece is concerned, his team at full throttle is good enough to finish in the play-offs, if not go up automatically.

His logic is hard to argue with, even if top spot appears a long shot.

Worcester extracted four points from Kettering over Christmas and new year, including a top-notch performance at St George's Lane, while current leaders Droylsden were beaten 3-1 at home in November.

Hinckley were second before the weekend and, if truth be told, gave that lofty perch a bad name with a below-par display.

Perhaps the only team that can beat City is themselves.

Farsley have completed the double over them, the second time after City had dominated, Hucknall put four past them and Harrogate ripped through them at the Lane.

Interestingly, City took to the field against Hucknall in October without defender Chris Smith and will need to manage without him again after his 10th booking of the season against Hinckley.

That rules the 25-year-old out of the FA Trophy match on Saturday week and any subsequent replay or league trip to Scarborough on February 10.

Such ill-discipline could prove costly, particularly as Graham Ward, George Clegg and Abderrahman Traore are all perilously close to bans.