Defeat in Boreham Wood on Wednesday night almost certainly killed-off any lingering chance of Eastbourne Borough reaching the Skrill South play-offs this season.
With four games to go Borough are in 10th place on 54 points, three points adrift of fifth placed Havant and Waterlooville who are in the final play-off spot with three games in hand.
There are 12 points still to play for but it would require an extremely unlikely set of results between now and the end of the season for Tommy Widdrington’s side to have any chance.
Lowly Gosport Borough visit Priory Lane on Saturday for their penultimate home game of the season and Widdrington is demanding a response from the players and to give the home supporters something to cheer about.
Borough’s last victory came in Maidenhead thanks to 3-2 victory.
Since then they have suffered three consecutive away defeats at Bishop’s Stortford, Bath City and Boreham Wood.
The boss said, “I have told the players in no uncertain terms that I do not want to finish this season on 54 points.
“We have had a tough run of games. We have been on the road more often than not and that can take it’s toll.
“But we want to finish strongly and I want us to fight for every point that’s available to us.”
Asked where Borough fell short in the race for the top five. Widdrington responded.
“You look at the other teams, the so-called big guns in this league, and their squads are huge.
“I think we have got plenty of things right this season and I want our players and hopefully the fans to remember that.
“If we can keep the bulk of this group together there is no reason why we can’t learn from some of the errors this season and improve.”
Eastleigh lead the way at the top of the table and now look certain to be promoted as champions.
The addition of striker Ben Wright increased their firepower in the later stages and helped create an eight point gap between themselves and second placed Bromley.
Widdrington added, “I looked at bringing in Ben Wright earlier in the season and the prices quoted were ridiculous. Six of my players don’t earn what he does. We have operated on a squad of 16-18 players this season.
“How can I get rid of six players to bring one man in? Sometimes, as much as we don’t like it, that’s the plane truth.”
Loanee Stacy Long will play his final game for Borough of the season against Gosport while Ollie Rowe could be set to play as Adam Watts is an injury doubt.
“Stacy has done very well for us. He has worked hard, scored some vital goals and generally improved the squad. It’s his last game of this season and we will be having discussions with him about his and our plans for the next season. I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.”