Last weekend’s penultimate round of matches provided a mix of emotions for our local clubs.
Blue Square Bet Premier club Hayes & Yeading United needed to win at Lincoln City to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
The Imps were in reasonable form but Nas Bashir’s side still managed to pull off a fine 1-0 win. Sadly Newport County, the team they had to catch, also won to leave them marooned in the bottom four with a game to go.
It brings to an end a three-year-spell in the top division of non-League football for Hayes, who have done superbly to stay there that long.
With crowds rarely reaching 400, it was always going to be a struggle competing against ex-Football League clubs like Luton Town who average over 6,000.
Their final game of the season against Stockport County takes place at Kingfield on Saturday.
To get the biggest crowd possible for their last match at this level, Hayes have slashed admission to just £5 for adults and £1 for U16s.
In the Blue Square Bet South, the division below, back-to-back defeats on Saturday and Tuesday have left Hampton & Richmond Borough on course for relegation too.
The home games against promotion chasing Welling United and Basingstoke Town were always going to be tough but draws against the likes of Woking and Sutton United had given the Beavers hope.
Unfortunately Mark Harper’s team failed to match their opponents and lost both fixtures 2-0 to stay second from bottom, two points adrift of safety going into the final day.
Even if they win at bottom club Thurrock, who are already down, they will still have to rely on Maidenhead United and Havant & Waterlooville both slipping up.
If they do go down, one side hoping to replace them are Wealdstone who continue to do well in the Ryman League Premier Division.
Their push for a play-off spot has been boosted in the last few days by away wins over Metropolitan Police and Margate as they have climbed to fourth.
They now only need to draw their final game at home to Concord Rangers, who have nothing to play for, to make sure of a place.
It is still quite possible that they could be joined in the play-offs by local rivals Hendon who kept themselves in touch with the top five by thrashing Tooting & Mitcham United 5-0 on Saturday.
However, with Lewes and Bury Town still ahead of them they know that a win at already relegated Aveley is absolutely essential if they are to have any chance but ultimately it may still not be enough.
One side who could do the Greens a big favour on the last day of the season are Harrow Borough who travel to play Lewes at the Dripping Pan.
Until last Saturday this looked liked being a huge game for both clubs but Boro managed to pull off a surprise 1-0 home win over title chasing AFC Hornchurch to make sure they avoided relegation.
The result also ensured Billericay Town were crowned Ryman League champions – maybe Dave Anderson’s side can rise to the occasion again and help boost the promotion ambitions of their old rivals from Vale Farm too.