AS we leave 2023 behind and enter the New Year, the excitement continues to grow for non-league football teams across Worcestershire.

Looking at league tables from Step 3 down to Step 7, no less than six clubs in the county are currently occupying play-off places or higher, with one sitting just one place outside the top five.

Starting with the highest level in Worcestershire - Step 3 - Redditch United sit third in the Southern League Premier  Central after a sensational run of results, winning six games in a row.

They have now won 13 of their 23 league matches, drawing the other five and losing just five, which has put them right in the mix for promotion to the National League, which would be an incredible achievement for the club.

Moving down to Division One of the Southern League (South), Evesham United have put together a similarly impressive run to give themselves hope of yet another play-off push. The Robins have won six of their last 11 in the league, losing just twice, and are showing the sort of form that could see them reach the semi-finals for a second consecutive season.

Into Step 5 and the most likely to be promoted of all the teams this season is Worcester City, who are currently flying high at the top of the Hellenic League Premier following 17 wins from their 22 so far in 2023/24. 

Chris Cornes' men have lost just once in the league and are unbeaten since a 2-1 defeat to Westfields way back in August. Since then, they have taken 48 points from a possible 56 and are two points clear of second-placed Corsham Town with three games in hand.

The sleeping giant in non-league football looks destined for Step 4 barring something rather drastic happening and with a new ground on the horizon, the future looks incredibly bright once again.

In the same league, Pershore Town are in a strong position to compete for a second consecutive promotion after winning the Hellenic League Division One title last year. 

Lewis Marston's men are fifth in the Hellenic Premier table as it stands, but look to be in a real tussle for a play-off spot, with in-form teams on their tails with games in hand. But The Plums are in good form, unbeaten in their last eight, and will no doubt be there or thereabouts come April.

At the same level, Stourport Swifts are also showing play-off form under long-term boss Quentin Townsend.

The Swifts - fifth in the table - have enjoyed an extremely positive first 18 games in their Midland Football League Premier campaign, suffering just three defeats.

A recent run of one loss in seven MFL matches, as well as making the fourth round of the FA Vase, has put them in a strong position to finish in the top five and a chance of promotion via the play-offs.

Into Step 6 and two clubs, in the Hellenic League Division One and MFL Division One, both look as if they will also be in post-season competition come the end of the 23/24 campaign.

Droitwich Spa came within a last-minute goal of taking their 22/23 MFL Division One play-off final to a penalty shootout, but look almost certain to make the play-offs once again this year, despite seeing their title hopes all but dashed in the last six weeks or so.

Hinckley AFC have pulled 17 points clear of The Saltmen and despite having four games in hand, the gap still looks like a mountain potentially too big to climb. But having experienced that heartbreak last summer, you would say they should have what it takes to go a step further this time around.

Sporting Club Inkberrow are in great form in the Hellenic League Division 1. After last season's promotion from Step 7, they are another side that could make it back-to-back promotions.

After 23 league games, they are fifth in the table having won 13 and drawing five and are now six points clear of those sides trying to hunt them down for a play-off place.

And finally, New Dales Vale are in a brilliant spot to break into Step 6 from the Herefordshire FA County League Premier Division. They are top of the table heading into the new year and could be joining the Hellenic League if all goes to plan.

They look to be in a three-horse race with Ledbury Town and Wellington at the top of the table.