Doomed Ripon City will suffer a second successive relegation if they fail to beat Sherburn White Rose at the weekend.
Two crucial defeats over the last seven days has left City’s fate teetering on the edge of the relegation trap door.
After a gut-wrenching derby day defeat to Boroughbridge 1-0 last Wednesday, Micky Baldwin’s men were put to sword 6-0 at Whitkirk Wanderers on Saturday.
The defeats left the Mallorie Park outfit with a 14-point gap to fourth-bottom Leeds Modernians, with just five matches remaining to save their sorry season.
“We’re a bit dejected now. We have relegation staring us in the face,” admitted assistant boss Dan Metcalfe.
“We won’t give in until it’s not possible to stay up.
“The lads are still focused and commuted and none of the heads are down.
“Obviously it’s upsetting that we are in the position we are in but we have a young side and hopefully they will learn from the experience.
“If we do end up going down, we need to rebuild for next season. We have a crop of good, young players but this season may have come too soon for them.
“We can’t look back at what could have been and feel sorry for ourselves, we have to make sure we look forward to the future.”
Saturday’s examination could not be a much harder test either for Baldwin’s side with White Rose closing towards promotion to the West Yorkshire Premier league.
Sherburn hammered Ripon 5-1 last month and Metcalfe labelled the North Yorkshire outfit as one of the best they had played this season.
Nothing short of a win would be good enough for City and they must hope Leeds Modernians lose all four of their remaining games as well.
City will adopt a new strategy to try and reverse their form, according to Metcalfe.
“We have been a bit naïve so we have to change the tactics to be a bit more direct,” he added.