YORK Acorn ARLC boss Scott Rhodes reckons anyone at Thanet Road who underestimated the quality in National Conference League division one will now know better.
The Blue and Golds won at Dewsbury Celtic last week but it was only their third victory in eight outings since demotion from the premier division.
They host Saddleworth Rangers on Saturday (2.30pm) knowing a couple of positive results will lift them into the promotion pictures in a tight league table, but Rhodes has warned they cannot expect any game to be easy.
Said the head coach: "Maybe we underestimated this division and people though that because we came down we should be up at the top of this league.
"But there are no easy games in this league. Saddleworth will also be difficult. They came up and they've picked up some good results."
Rhodes is also trying to bring youngsters through, knowing some of the veterans in his side might not be playing for many more years. He reckons this, and being forced to chop and change his line-up due to injury and unavailability, has contributed to inconsistency.
"We should have picked up a win at Normanton and should have won at Mayfield," he added. "If we had, we'd be around the top three as it's so tight.
"We just have to keep plodding on, take each game as it comes, and see where it takes us."
Acorn are boosted this weekend by the return of pack leader Tom Hill, assuming an ongoing groin problem abates.
They will have to check on Andy Gargan, too, but otherwise the Blue and Golds will be at near full strength, with Leigh Rientoul also closing in on a recall after returning to training.
Meanwhile, an Acorn side took on New Earswick All Blacks last night for the right to meet Selby Warriors in the final of the York & District Community Cup.
Acorn were planning to field a predominantly young or reserve side but with a few first-teamers thrown in to bolster their match-sharpness.
All Blacks went into the tie boosted by their 44-14 win over Heworth in last Friday night's friendly.
Among the try-scorers that night was former favourite Tom Hodgson, the former York City Knights and Gateshead Thunder hooker who was making a guest appearance whil back in the city.
Other try-scorers were Will Leatt (2), Jack Hodgson, Bobby Quigley, Will Hughes, Joe Davis and Liam Gargan, with Tom Holmes adding six conversions. Hughes was one of the All Blacks' under-18s on show in a game in which both clubs fielded mixed teams.
Selby Warriors 'A' go to Allerton Bywater 'A' in their penultimate Pennine League division seven match of the season.