THE season may not yet be at the half way stage but Accrington captain Ross Brown admits tomorrow’s clash with Crompton is a ‘must win’ game.

While Brown has no fears of his side being relegated from Lancashire League Division One, he wants his players to rediscover that winning feeling as soon as possible.

The Thorneyholme Road side have won four of their 10 fixtures but only one has come in their last five outings.

Brown puts that largely down to lack on consistency and continuity but a victory would work wonders in lifting the mood at Accrington who won back-to-back league titles in 2008 and 2009.

“We need a win, any kind of win to get us going again,” said Brown. “We have shown on our day we are capable of beating anyone. We beat Lowerhouse early in the season and they had started the campaign as one of the title favourites.

“But we are in a bit of a rut where, when you are losing matches, everything seems to go against you. So we just need a change in luck, a change in fortunes just to get us going again.

“In that respect, this is a must win game for us.”

Brown, who is in his third season at Accrington and his second as captain, says the inability to put out a settled side has also played its part in his side’s below par start.

“In an ideal world you would like to be able to pick from the same 11 or 12 players every week,” he said. “But we all have other commitments; players having to work, players going on stag-dos and it is the team that suffers.

“And it has a knock-on effect as well as we have to recruit from the Seconds, who then have to take players from the Thirds.”

While Accrington are currently ninth in the table, out of the Worsley Cup and have no chances of progressing to the knockout stages of the T20 competition, Brown is looking up rather than down.

“I seriously don’t think we will be relegated, that said, we can’t be complacent,” he said. “We know we have lot of hard work to do but I am sure we will get it right.

He added: “With the new tier two league, there is no respite. You have to be at your very best to win while in the past maybe young could have won without being at your best.

“But it is great for the league, the standard is high, the highest standard I have played at.”

And there have been a number of highlights for Brown the season, the promotion of Tom Walker to first team duty - the 16-year-old Lancashire player opened the bowling against Walsden last weekend and the form of Keiren Grimshaw.

“Tom is a very talented young player and definitely one for the future,” he said.

“It was great to see him in the first team last weekend. And Keiren is a brilliant batsman, scores runs for fun. These are the sort of players we need to keep at the club.”

While Brown vows Accrington will get it right, his says the same applies to Karl Brown, the club’s professional.

The former Lancashire man, who has a top score of 60 this season, is unavailable for the visit of Crompton with last year’s paid man, Janith Liyanage, deputising tomorrow.

Brown says the best is yet to come from his namesake.

“I stand by my belief that in Karl we have one of the best professional in the league,” said Brown. “For one reason or another, it hasn’t really happened for him yet but he is an phenomenal batsman and he is capable of winning games on his own.

“And between now and the end of the season, I would not be surprised if he does that for us a number of times.”

Despite being born in Accrington, Brown played all his early cricket away from the club, coming up through the junior ranks at Haslingden before spells at Lowerhouse, Eagley and Ramsbottom where he helped the team to league, Worsley Cup and T20 glory.

He then took a five-year break from the game to concentrate on his business before he was persuaded to join his home town club by teammate Jonathan Hayhurst.

“Me and John play a lot of golf together and he was bending my ear about coming to play for Accrington,” said the 29-year-old.

“He kept on going but I am glad I listened because I love playing here, Accrington is a great club.”

* Fixtures:

Division One: Accrington v Crompton, Church v Walsden, Darwen v Clitheroe, Lowerhouse v Ramsbottom, Norden v Rochdale, Todmorden v Burnley.

Division Two: Colne v Enfield, Great Harwood v East Lancashire, Littleborough v Middleton, Milnrow v Bacup, Rawtenstall v Nelson, Rishton v Haslingden.