Hastings United head to title outsiders Lowestoft Town today (Saturday) with their sights set on grabbing the win which could see them stay up.
The U’s will avoid the drop from the Ryman Premier if they better the result of Leatherhead - the team in the fourth and final relegation place - on the penultimate weekend of the season.
“It’s a huge game because we can effectively stay up on Saturday,” said Hastings player-manager Sean Ray. “I think Lowestoft know they are not going to win the league, that’s Billericay’s to lose but they will want to finish as high as they can to make sure they are at home in the play-offs.”
Hastings sit three points clear of Leatherhead but have the worst goal difference out of the three teams fighting relegation. Harrow Borough are the other club in danger.
This means if results don’t quite pan out tomorrow Hastings could find themselves back in the bottom four going into next weekend’s final round of fixtures.
Ray went on: “I can’t see Harrow and Leatherhead winning both of their games and us losing both. One win could see us stay up and I’m hoping to get it out of the way on Saturday.”
The U’s, who face an epic 330-mile round trip to the Suffolk coast, won the last time they played third-placed Lowestoft at the end of February when defender Scott Manning scored both goals in an excellent 2-0 win.
The U’s plan to stick with their by-now familiar 4-3-3 system which served them so well in the crucial 3-1 win against Harrow last weekend.
The only other senior fixture involving teams from 1066 Country today is Westfield’s trip to Midhurst & Easebourne in Sussex County Football League Division Two. Both matches will kick-off at 3pm.