Hastings United had to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Hendon on a scorching Easter Saturday.
But with the team above them and the two sides immediately below them all winning, Hastings still have much work to do in their battle to remain in the Premier Division of the Ryman Football League.
Jason Hopkinson’s charges still occupy the final safe spot of fifth-bottom, yet they are now only three points ahead of fourth-bottom Aveley and four better off than third-bottom Maidstone United with two games remaining.
On a beautiful looking pitch at The Pilot Field, Hastings opened the scoring in the 42nd minute when Sam Adams slammed home a penalty after George Porter was brought down by Casey Maclaren.
The U’s never really got going in the second half, however, and 15th-placed Hendon equalised in the 65th minute. Seb Barton got a hand to Greg Ngoyi’s shot, but Dave Diedhiou tucked away the rebound.
Diedhiou was unlucky not to put Hendon ahead 10 minutes later as his downward header at the far post bounced over the crossbar with Barton beaten. Ben Billings and Porter were narrowly off target at the other end.
Hastings (4-5-1): Barton; Rowe, Ray, Jirbandey, Manning; Hopkinson (Billings 54), Carey, Beautyman, Adams, Porter; Pogue (Eldridge 53). Subs not used: Sutton, Olorunda, Storrie.
A full report and the thoughts of Hastings assistant manager Adam Hinshelwood will appear in Friday’s Hastings Observer.
Bottom six (all played 40 matches): 17 Horsham 40-41, 18 HASTINGS UNITED 40-38, 19 Aveley 40-35, 20 Maidstone United 40-34, 21 Croydon Athletic (relegated) 40-31, 22 Folkestone Invicta (relegated) 40-27.
SELECTED OTHER RESULTS
Sussex County League, Division 2: Mile Oak 2 LITTLE COMMON 1; Rustington 4 WESTFIELD 5.