Hawick captain Rory Hutton accepts there will be no margin for error when his side face Melrose on Saturday, but exudes a sense of confidence that the Greens can upset the odds.
A team short on accomplishments in recent years, the Mansfield Park men faced adversity early this season, suffering six losses in their first eight games, but that stretch has proved to be a time of growth, according to Hutton.
Rather than tripping up and letting their early obstacles define them, the Greens have bonded together and now find themselves legitimate play-off contenders.
Hutton believes his side became stronger mentally during those losses and suggested the momentum the team has found since will be a big factor on Saturday.
“Melrose are a tough team, there is no doubt about it, and there will be little margin for error, but we have built a pretty good winning mentality in recent months, which I think will give us an edge,” he said.
“They are talented, but so are we, and, with the squad we have right now, I see no reason why we cannot give them a good test and compete.
“We have beaten them already this season, so we know what we are capable of and will be going in there with the same mentality.”
The Robbie Dyes outduelled Melrose at Mansfield Park back in October, but Hutton expects it much tougher on Saturday as the reigning BT Premiership champions look for revenge at the Greenyards.
“They have some real game changers in their side, so we know only our A-game will be enough to win,” he added.
“We will have to be prepared for a big battle if we want to come away with anything and keep our top-four hopes alive.”
Also in the Premiership, Gala welcome Edinburgh Accies to Netherdale.
Down in National League One, Selkirk are hoping to get their promotion campaign off the ground once more when Stewart’s Melville come to Philiphaugh. Kelso and Jed also have home ties and play Watsonians and Aberdeen respectively, while Peebles travel to play Hillhead/Jordanhill.