Spalding United’s under-21s are back home tonight for the final league game of the season.
The Tulips take on Harrowby United at the Sir Halley Stewart Field, knowing three points could send them into the grand final next month with the north section’s winners.
They have another chance to qualify after missing out on Tuesday night when the unbeaten record was ended by Boston United at Carre’s Grammar School, Sleaford.
The Pilgrims have four games to play within a two-week spell and they would need to get maximum points to take top spot if Spalding win tonight.
Manager Lewis Thorogood said: “We’ve got to win this game – it’s as simple as that.
“It’s our responsibility to get going again because the players are hurting after Tuesday’s defeat.
My message to the players is that we’ve got a job to do tonight and we need a response.Lewis Thorogood
“It felt like we threw it away a little bit. We’ll regroup and see where it takes us.
“As it stands, we can get a maximum of 23 points from 10 games and Boston could finish on 24.
“We have a much superior goal difference and all we can do is hope that Boston slip up, even if they draw one of those games.
“My message to the players is that we’ve got a job to do tonight and we need a response.
“We must win and set a points target which puts Boston under more pressure to chase us down.
“After tonight, we’ll keep fit and prepare for a potential final which we feel we deserve.
“It would be great to see a decent crowd here for the final home game of the season.
“We have been very entertaining to watch and we need Spalding’s supporters behind us again.
“We were always aware that we had the points and other teams needed to catch up.
“We are an attacking team and I’m not going to criticise the players’ efforts this season.
“It’s still mathematically possible to win the title. We want to finish in style.
“The first half against Boston wasn’t good enough. We were sloppy.
“We changed our shape in the second half and looked a lot better.
“We had chances but fair play to Boston. They got the job done and managed the game well.
“They are the best team we’ve played this season by far.
“At 1-1, I would have been happy to take a point. Now we have to concentrate on tonight’s game.”
James Gordon was taken to hospital with breathing difficulties on Tuesday while George Couzens (ribs) and Ryan Buckley (illness) are also ruled out tonight.