DANNY SMITH has laid down the ultimate challenge for his side as he insists a title run is not beyond their reach.

The midfielder bagged a brace from the penalty spot as Sauchie dispatched Blackburn United at Beechwood Park on Saturday.

His two strikes were followed by a debut goal from Jay McInally, and those three points combined with a defeat for Linlithgow Rose narrowed the distance.

With the two sides set to square off this weekend in West Lothian, the time for Sauchie to make a run for the championship could be at hand.

Despite the current 13-point gap between them, albeit with Sauchie having two games in hand, Smith still believes this season can end with his side on top.

He told Advertiser Sport said: "I don't see why boys would want to come here if we weren't trying to chase that title.

"Them dropping points is massive for us; we've now got them next and if we win that it's a six point swing then there's pressure on them.

"I think it's always harder being in the lead and having someone chase you than being the chaser.

"That game will be massive for us, we can't underestimate that at all and if we do the job it's all there for us."

The showdown was set up after Sauchie's 3-0 win at home to Blackburn with Smith delighted with the display.

He continued: "I thought we were brilliant. There was a wee 10 to 15 minute spell in the first half where we were off it a little but apart from that we can't have many complaints, I thought we were really good.

"We created a lot of chances, scored a few goals and probably could have had more."

Both of Smith's penalties were won by Ross Kavanagh and he was delighted to be the scorer this time.

He continued: "I know Ross himself is always a wee bit gutted if he hasn't scored but you see how much he's doing for the team.

"Every game he's having an impact whether he's scoring, creating chances or setting them up so it's brilliant and I'm delighted to get the goals.

"It's usually the other way about, usually I'm assisting him so it's nice for him to return the favour."

Sauchie have now won their first three games of the calendar year and Smith says the squad depth is helping to extend their purple patch.

He said: "We just need to keep trying to build on it. Last year we had really good spells but then we would fall out of it a wee bit and we could be hot and cold whereas this year I think we're a lot more consistent.

"We've brought a few boys in as well which is good to keep everyone on their toes and keep the squad competitive.

"Everyone's dying to play and contribute just now so we just need to keep building on that."

Smith went off at half-time with a hamstring concern but he reiterated his point about the squad's strength.

He said: "If I've got a wee injury you don't need to worry and try to play through it because you know anyone that comes off the bench is more than capable of starting the game so when they come on it's just as is, it doesn't affect the momentum at all. We've got a really strong squad.

"We've got a lot of games coming up. These midweek games when we've played on Saturday, you don't have to throw boys straight back in, we've got that squad, that luxury to change things and change things without risking any valuable points."

Sauchie travel to Linlithgow Rose this Saturday for a 2.30pm kick off.