The taste of defeat has been as rare as caviar alongside the fishcakes and scallops in the local chippy for champions Leamington this season.

But manager Jason Cadden is convinced that a surprise reverse at Coleshill Town on a dreary Saturday afternoon in October provided the impetus in what has become a record-breaking campaign in the Midland Combination Premier Division.

Cadden recalls the 3-2 defeat at Pack Meadow as "a real kick up the backside" for his team but it was the manner in which the victors celebrated that, he believes, focused the Brakes' determination on a title charge.

"It has been a fantastic season but I think the big turning point was losing at Coleshill," he said. "We had gone 2-0 down, then got it back to 2-2 and the least we deserved was a point. But they got the winner late on and you thought they had won the Champions League by the way they celebrated.

"They were standing in the circle, shouting and ranting and I felt they were disrespectful. I said to the players 'let's go and show them'. Since then we haven't lost."

Leamington intend to continue that record on Saturday when they travel to Nuneaton Griff.

The statistics are irrefutable - Cadden's men have won 24 out of their last 27 league matches, rattled up a century of goals with Richard Adams and Josh Blake both netting 30-goals plus, and already set a Premier Division points record. Victory on Saturday would take them to 109 points.

"I think everyone would agree we have been the best side in the league this season," said Cadden. "It was great to clinch the title in front of nearly 900 fans at our own ground when we beat Alveston.

"But, from my point of view, it's also a big feeling of relief. We came so close last season and missed out. Then we had the worst possible start this season when we lost 5-0 in our first game at Meir. I got some grief after that. We were sitting at the bottom of the table, but at least we had 41 games to put it right."

Cadden, at 35, one of the youngest managers in the Midlands, can now plan for promotion to the Midland Alliance. That had been the goal when Leamington - left in limbo for 12 years after the old club lost its ground back in 1988 - returned to action at their new ground in Harbury.

The Brakes, who had been one of the biggest names in non-League as AP Leamington before their demise, had to start in Division Two of the Combination but they have since enjoyed one success story after another, with the fans flocking to the New Windmill Ground to keep average attendances in excess of 500.

"Five years ago, we set out a plan to get into the Alliance," said Cadden. "We won promotion in the first two seasons and then finished third and second.

"Now we are ready, off the pitch as well because the clubhouse is completed, to go to the next level.

"The Alliance will be a tough league, there's no doubt about that. We're going to have to knuckle down and bring in a few extra players to improve the squad. But we shouldn't be frightened.

"We have had a great experience in the FA Vase and we know we can match teams from a higher league. We will need to show we can do it week in week out."