Although Bexhill United’s promotion hopes are all but over, there might still be plenty riding on their final two games of the season.
The Pirates could line up in the FA Cup for the first time next season if they can secure a top four finish in Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two.
Bexhill manager Marc Munday said: “Fourth place gives us the entitlement to go into the FA Cup and surely that’s incentive enough for everyone.
“It’s going to be a struggle because there’s three good sides all playing for that spot. We’ve got two games left and we want to win them both obviously.”
The criteria to be automatically accepted into the FA Cup, subject to the ground conforming to the minimum standard, includes ‘clubs in step six of the FA National League System finishing in a league position 1-4 of the preceding season’.
Clubs outside the top four could also be accepted ‘subject to available places and subject to the ground conforming to the minimum standard’. Bexhill expect to be awarded the ‘G’ ground grading shortly.
Fourth place gives us the entitlement to go into the FA Cup and surely that’s incentive enough for everyoneMarc Munday
New entries ‘must have participated in the FA Trophy or Vase in season 2014/15’ and Bexhill made their FA Vase debut earlier in the campaign.
Finishing in the top four is out of Bexhill’s hands. Although they currently occupy that fourth spot, fifth-placed Mile Oak are only two points behind with two games in hand even though Bexhill beat them twice.
Eighth-placed Oakwood are the other team in the equation despite losing twice over the past week. The Crawley-based club is nine points adrift of Bexhill having played four fewer matches and the sides will meet at Oakwood tomorrow (Saturday).
“The Oakwood game is a really big game for us,” continued Munday. “If we end up being sixth, it’s not a true reflection on how well we’ve done because we’re a good, strong outfit.”
Munday expects to have a recognised goalkeeper in place tomorrow having donned the gloves himself in Bexhill’s last two matches.
Bexhill’s final game of the season is the Easter Monday derby away to crosstown rivals Little Common, who are without a fixture tomorrow.
Sixth-placed Common, who came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 at home to Oakwood with 10 men last weekend, are at home to Haywards Heath Town in their penultimate fixture on Easter Saturday.
Common player-manager Russell Eldridge says a handful of his squad may well feature for the reserves over the coming week.