GARY Hackett says Stourbridge are now facing a season-defining month.

The Glassboys suffered a 1-0 loss at Ashton United on Tuesday night as their play-off hopes were dealt another blow.

However, they are now due to go to third-placed Grantham Town this Saturday as they begin a key run of fixtures that still offers them hope of gate-crashing the end-of-season shake-up.

February will then see them taking on second-placed Shaw Lane, ninth-placed Witton, sixth-placed Farsley Celtic, 13th-placed Buxton and table-toppers Altrincham.

The manager is in no doubt about how important the next month is going to be for Stour, who are now in 12th and eight points adrift of the Northern Premier League's play-off picture.

Hackett said: "Without doubt it will be a defining month and a very important month for us. We have all the top teams to play.

"Our overall performances recently have been very good and I'm disappointed we haven't picked up more wins on the back of that.

"One thing we do have is a very determined dressing room that wants to get it right."

On the Ashton loss, Hackett was left disappointed at an offside decision in the build up to the penalty that ultimately handed the hosts all three points.

He added: "In certain aspects of our play we did really well.

"We went to a team in the top five and took the game to them. If anything it was just our creativity in the last third that has let us down.

"They have got a goal that appeared to many as being offside. It's disappointing in such an important game and it gave them something to hang on to.

"To fans that haven't travelled they'll just see we lost 1-0. We have to take it on the chin and move on."

Aaron Forde was forced off against Ashton with a hamstring injury and will be assessed ahead of the trip to Grantham.

Hackett confirmed the club is working to secure the services of on-loan forward Luke Benbow until the end of the season.

Fellow striker Kaiman Anderson is still on loan at the War Memorial Ground for another month.