Worthing United Football Club need a win on the final day of the season to ensure their Southern Combination League Premier Division safety on Saturday.
Evan Archibald’s brace helped ten-man Eastbourne Town to a 2-1 victory in Mavericks’ penultimate fixture.
United dropped a place to 17th in the table after the defeat, leaving them just two points and a place above third-bottom AFC Uckfield Town with a game to go.
Mavericks make the trip to Newhaven on Saturday - a team that were beaten 3-2 at already-relegated Wick last time out - while Uckfield have to go to Pagham.
With Uckfield having a superior goal difference, anything less than three points against Dockers could see United relegated, should Uckfield win their final match.
Interim Mavericks manager Matt Evans, who took charge of his first game on Saturday, admits it’s not a position his team wanted to find themselves in and said: “The pressure will be on, but we know a win over Newhaven will guarantee our safety.
“Everything remains in our hands, so that is the one good thing about a bad situation we find ourselves in.
“I felt we deserved a point against Eastbourne and we’d have just needed a point on the final day.”
The ball fell kindly for Archibald after ten minutes and he made no mistake firing past Nathan Stroomberg in Mavericks’ goal.
United were handed the chance to get back in it, quite literally, on the half-hour. Jamie Stideford’s goalbound header was handled by Daniel Bolwell with a spot-kick awarded and a red card shown. Matt Hards slammed home the resulting penalty to level things up.
Mavericks looked good for a draw, before Town snatched a late, late winner.
Eastbourne countered at great speed, with Archibald played in behind and firing home his second a minute from time.
Mavericks make the trip to Newhaven for their final league game on Saturday.
WORTHING UNITED: Stroomberg; Fuller, Bromage, Gregory; Deacon, Hards, Foster, Robinson, Davison; Stideford, Callaghan. Subs: Kealy (Foster, 65), Layton (Deacon, 75), Nagle (Davison, 85), Sparks, Patching.
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