Sleaford Town put their United Counties League destiny back in their own hands on Saturday with a gutsy win against Northampton ON Chenecks.
It was a pivotal weekend for Town who had slipped back into the relegation zone just seven days earlier after back-to-back defeats.
With just two games of the Premier League season remaining, and four sides battling to avoid the second relegation spot, Jamie Shaw’s side knew a win was essential in their final home game.
The football was hardly vintage on another afternoon of poor conditions, but they duly delivered the points, and that was all that mattered.
“It was a really important win and credit to the players for the way that they approached the game,” Shaw said.
“It certainly wasn’t a game that was stacked with quality, and the conditions were pretty poor, too, but we managed to grind out the result with a combination of hard work and will to win.”
The result, combined with St Andrew’s midweek defeat at Kirby Muxloe, means Sleaford will be guaranteed to finish outside of the bottom two with victory, or perhaps even a point, in their final game at Boston Town.
They lie 18th, three points and three places above second-bottom Oadby who have a game in hand.
Town could indeed have been celebrating safety on Saturday evening had the Saints final scheduled match not been postponed.
“I’m really pleased to have put things back in our own hands,” Shaw added. “But I’m everso slightly frustrated that the weather has played havoc with the fixtures again so that we were unable to know if we might have already been safe.”
Archie Moyses settled the Town nerves at Eslaforde Park with the opener on the half-hour, slotting home a penalty following a handball just inside the Chenecks area.
And 10 minutes later, Simon Bolland’s good pressing gave him the chance to chip the keeper and give the hosts some breathing space.
Sleaford had to survive a few dangerous moments in the second half as Chenecks created a few chances.
But the home side kept their first clean sheet in 10 matches.
Their final match takes place at Boston on Tuesday night (kick-off 7.45pm).