IT'S "crunch time" for the Leeton Greens, who are looking to secure a top-three spot when they take on Bidgee Hurricanes at Leeton No.1 Oval this weekend.
Just two points behind Bidgee on the ladder, Leeton president Steve Preston said the next two games were "must win" for the Greens.
"It's come down to the crunch," Preston said. "We've got to fight for that top-three spot and we've got to win the next two games, nothing else will do."
Critical to their campaign is the return of captain-coach Luke Thompson from injury.
Preston said Leeton had missed the leadership of Thompson, especially after last weekend's last-minute loss to Tullibigeal Lakes United.
"Last weekend the boys were very disappointed in the result, they let it slip through their fingers but they've got to move on," he said. "With Luke Thompson coming back this week it will be a big boost for the side. The boys have been doing a good job while he's been out but they will be looking for his leadership now he's back."
The Bidgee Hurricanes are currently riding high with a six-game winning streak which includes the scalps of competition leaders West Wyalong and TLU.
But Bidgee coach Chris Bamford said he wasn't going to Leeton expecting to be handed a victory.
"Having taken on Hay last week, we probably haven't had the best preparation for this game," he said. "Leeton have had the best preparation in taking on TLU last week and we know this is a big game for them.
"But it is also a massive game for us we're both fighting for top spots at the moment."
While Bamford acknowledged his squad's great run, he said injuries picked up at the weekend could be a concern.
"We lost our centre Taina Heke - it was one of the worst injuries I've ever seen on the field," he said. "He has a broken shin and snapped all the tendons in his ankle - he leg was twisted around 180 degrees and it'll probably be mid next season before he can come back.
"We'll have to shuffle things around and it's not what the boys needed but they know what is at stake. One of the boys lost his mother to cancer at the weekend as well and if that's not something to play for I don't know what is."
The Frank Fiumara Cup will also be up for grabs and Preston said Leeton were determined to keep the cup - named for the dad of injured first grade player Frank Fiumara - in their club.