Martin Gray insists rising to third in the table has handed Darlington 1883 an important “psychological boost” in the promotion race.
The Quakers have been stuck in fourth place for most of the season.
Regular victories for their nearest rivals meant even a run of 12 wins from 14 games could not improve their position.
However, Saturday’s 2-0 home win over New Mills lifted Darlington above Farsley. Ten points ahead of Gray’s side, league leaders Curzon Ashton have still to play Farsley twice, second-placed Warrington Town and fifth-placed Lancaster City. Farsley also have Lancaster to play.
Darlington’s only remaining fixtures against top-five sides are home games against Farsley and Curzon.
And having jumped into third spot ahead of tonight’s home game against 10th-placed Cammell Laird, Gray said: “Psychologically it’s a boost. Every time we’ve won the other teams around us have also won.
“It’s been so important, and still is, to win our games otherwise we would have been detached from the top three.
“A lot of the teams at the top have to play each other, we’ve just got to do what we need to do. We need to go head-to-head for the rest of the season and we’re in a position to do that. Performances at this stage can be indifferent.
“You can have good ones and bad ones. You’d like to be consistent but it’s about winning and getting a clean sheet.
“Our vision before the start of the season was to be challenging for the title and be in the play-offs.
“That’s where we are so we’re on track.”