LAKE Albert co-coach Chris Ayton believes the next month is a crucial period for the Sharks as they look to move into the Pascoe Cup top four.
The Sharks registered their third draw from the opening five rounds on Sunday when they finished 1-1 with South Wagga at Rawlings Park.
Jamie Rankin put Lake Albert 1-0 in front early in the second half but the Warriors got one back late courtesy of Nick Forsyth to share the points.
Ayton is not too concerned about how the Sharks are faring early in the season that has them in sixth spot.
"We've had a tough start, we've played some of the tougher teams in the comp," Ayton said.
"It's a bit disappointing that we haven't been able to really put teams to the sword as yet but I really think it's just a matter of time, it's coming.
"The boys are playing far better footy now than what I've seen them play ever so on that side of it, it's starting to come together."
Ayton conceded Sunday's game against South Wagga was one that got away from Lake Albert. But at the same time, he paid credit to the much-improved opposition.
"South Wagga are actually a handy enough team," he said.
"They had four or five out too and they played reasonable footy. They're going to give a lot of people some grief."
Lake Albert now face Tolland on Sunday, followed by Wagga United, Cootamundra and Henwood Park.
Ayton said it was imperative that Lake Albert win all four of their next games.
"Obviously when you look at the table, it's a pretty big logjam after the top two. You don't want it to be that way, you want to be jamming yourself in the top two but we've had a couple of little hiccups," he said.
"Three of the teams that are just on top of us, or around us, Wagga United, Henwood Park and Tolland, that's our run the next three weeks or so.
"We need 12 points out of the next four games. Tolland, Wagga United, Cootamundra and Henwood Park and that's the round done. We're going to be expecting 12 points out of that."
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Meantime, Henri Gardner scored a brace in Leeton United's 3-0 win over Wagga United in Leeton on Sunday.
Ethan Burrow scored the home team's third goal, while new recruit Bailey Carlos continued to impress with another strong performance in the midfield.
Young captain Clancy Hislop scored a hat-trick in Young's 6-0 win over Cootamundra.
Hanwood continued their impeccable start to the season with a fifth consecutive clean sheet in their 11-0 win over Tumut.
Jordan Bellato led the way with a hat-trick for Hanwood.
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