Visiting fellow strugglers Northampton Sileby Rangers on Saturday, Sleaford Town were looking for a vital win that would ease any lingering relegation fears.
As it was, they were undone by a late goal as Sileby pinched the points with a 3-2 victory that moved them a little nearer Town in the table.
Like Sleaford, at the start of Saturday’s encounter Sileby were too close to the relegation battle for comfort. Both sides knew a win was vital and it was an even contest throughout.
The home side took the lead just over 10 minutes into the game through Dominic Okanu, but Town drew level on the half-hour mark thanks to a goal from Brad Hockin.
Shortly before half-time, Michael Byrne restored Sileby’s advantage.
Once again Town equalised, Kieran Helmsdown netting 12 minutes after the restart.
The result was decided five minutes from time when Byrne claimed his second with a header, to secure all three points for Sileby.
Sleaford are now fifth from bottom in the United Counties League Premier Division, with Sileby and Harrowby United just three points behind and with games in hand.
However, Town have some breathing space with a nine point buffer over second from bottom Harborough Town,
With those points in hand club chairman Brian Rowland is confident Sleaford should maintain their place in the Premier Division.
He said: “Saturday’s game was one of those we needed to win. Even so, I don’t think there is any real danger of us going down.
“I think we’re too far ahead of the bottom two clubs, but I would like to see us further up the table.”
He added: “Our next game against Deeping Rangers will be a tough one, although they haven’t been in the best of form lately.”
○ Town visit Deeping Rangers on Tuesday evening. Rangers are currently lying eighth in the table, nine places above Sleaford.