Wellingborough Town will confirm their ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division status for another season if they avoid defeat against Harrowby United at the Dog & Duck tomorrow (Saturday).
Jon Mitchell’s side took a giant leap towards safety last night as they claimed a 3-2 home success over Sileby Rangers.
The match was Wellingborough’s game in hand on fellow strugglers Oadby Town, who are now three points adrift of the Doughboys as they prepare to head to Wisbech Town for their final game of the season.
But what happens there will be irrelevant if the Doughboys take at least a point off Harrowby.
Mitchell’s team bounced back from a 3-0 defeat to Cogenhoe United on Tuesday night with the most precious of wins last night.
Sileby took the lead through Brian Farrell but Ben Baines brought Wellingborough level before the break.
Baines put Wellingborough ahead from close-range five minutes into the second half but Rangers hit back again with Joe Merrill making it 2-2.
However, Dan Bendon volleyed home what proved to be the winner on 65 minutes, although the hosts had to withstand some late pressure to preserve the three points.
Rothwell Corinthians boss Shaun Sparrow says his team will “have a bit of fun” when they round off a fine first season back in the UCL Premier Division this season.
A year on from gaining promotion from Division One, Corinthians have consolidated in the top flight.
They continued the upward curve by completing a league double over neighbours Desborough Town on Tuesday night as Kalon Peniasko hit a late winner at Sergeants Lawn after Jordan Henson had put them in front before half-time.
The season reaches its climax with a trip to rock-bottom Huntingdon Town.
And Sparrow believes his players have earned the right to enjoy themselves.
“The lads have worked hard all season and they deserve a lot of credit,” the Corinthians boss said.
“So we will go there on Saturday and look to have a bit of fun because the players have earned it.
“But, at the same time, when you are on the pitch all the laughing and joking stops and you don’t want to lose.
“We want them to have an enjoyable day at the end of a long, hard season, which has proved we are more than capable of being a solid mid-table team.
“It’s really nice to see the boys finishing well because to say we are running on fumes is a bit of an understatement.
“We have got five or six out and I was fearing for the end of the season a bit but they have kept going and given everything.
“It was great to score a goal at the death on Tuesday.
“But what made it even better was the fact that the local boys combined for the goal, that summed it up.”
Desborough Town boss Chris Bradshaw wants his team to end their UCL Premier Division campaign on a positive note before “the hard work really starts”.
Ar Tarn head to Deeping Rangers on the final day of the campaign tomorrow and they will be looking to bounce back from a 2-1 defeat at local rivals Rothwell Corinthians on Tuesday night.
But while Bradshaw is keen to see his side finish with a flourish, he has also got one eye on the months ahead as he prepares to begin his first full season in charge at the Waterworks Field.
“We want to finish on a high,” he said.
“Deeping have had a bit of a tough time of things recently but I am sure they will want to do the same.
“We will go there looking to win but once the game is done then the hard work really starts for me because we will be speaking to our transfer targets.
“Next season we need to push on and set ourselves the target of finishing higher than we have done this time because I think we are lower than where this club should be.
“But we will also be utilising the under-21s because some of them have come in and done well for us.
“John Gregory has done a fantastic job with the under-21s, they are the future of the club and it’s good that we have given some of them a bit of experience.”
Bradshaw, meanwhile, admitted he felt “hard done by” after Corinthians snatched a late winner at Sergeants Lawn in midweek.
Dan White equalised for Ar Tarn in the second half but Bradshaw felt they were punished for not taking their chances.
“Other than the last 10 minutes, I thought we did pretty well and it looked like there would only be one winner, particularly after we equalised,” he added.
“I was a bit disappointed with the officials because we had what looked like a good goal ruled out and I felt we should have had a penalty as well.
“I don’t know whether we tired or what but they came at us and got the goal at the end.
“On the balance of play, I felt hard done by but that’s football. If you don’t take your chances when you’re on top then you could get punished and we did.
“Fair play to Corinthians though, they had their game plan and stuck to it. I am sure Shaun (boss Sparrow) is delighted with the season they have had.”