Sutton & Epsom may be 10 points clear at the top of London Division One South, but scrum half Paul Hodgson is not getting carried away with any thoughts of promotion.

Hodgson and co go into the final five games of the season this weekend with a trip to struggling Dover.

Meanwhile, nearest rivals Guildford, beaten by Sutton (23-15) in their last outing to open the double-digit lead, head to second-bottom Charlton Park.

But while fans are getting excited, Hodgson, who made more than 150 appearances for London Irish and was capped six times for England, is remaining grounded.

“What was so impressive about the Guildford win was our defensive play,” he said.

“To deny the team second in the table a losing bonus point was superb.

“Beating teams in and around us at the top has made a big difference, and it was a great reaction to the Tottonians defeat.”

He added: “But I am too long in the tooth to get over-excited about our position, there are still five games to play.

“We are playing well, but we must keep that going. We’ve had the weekend off, and so we have to make sure come back and hit the ground running.

“We’ve been pretty good at it this season, and the coaches Lee [Cholewa] and Jeff [Parsons] will make sure there is no resting on our laurels in training this week, or when Saturday comes around.”

Given their recent record at home, Dover represent a banana skin for Sutton, and despite a 20-3 win over the Kent side last time out, Hodgson is expecting a tough clash.

Dover have lost just one of their past three home games, while away performances have not been so impressive – something Hodgson believes is mirrored across the division.

“Playing teams away from home can present a much more difficult proposition than playing teams on your home patch,” he said.

“It seems that teams raise their game at home, so we’ll need to be wary of that, and Dover will be out to prove something against us I am sure.”