Hucknall Town’s 2-0 defeat at Pinxton on Saturday ended their promotion dreams on Saturday.
The Yellows’ fifth defeat of the season and third game without a win left promotion mathematically impossible for them.
The Central Midland League South title chase is now a straight battle between leaders Sherwood Colliery and a chasing Eastwood Community.
Goals from Nathan Benger and Joe Riley separated the two sides on Saturday, despite the match being a very even contest.
The result condemned Hucknall to another season in their current division with manager Andy Graves already looking ahead to next season.
The opening 20 minutes of the game saw the hosts take the game to Hucknall as they aimed to exploit the absence of David Leak. The Yellows are winless since Leak’s suspension which highlights his importance to the team.
Pinxton made their pressure pay in the 20th minute.
Dan Riley broke away down the left-wing and pulled the ball back to Scott Graham.
He then squared the ball to Berger who faked his shot to move himself to the edge of the box before striking the ball into the bottom left corner past Michael Randall.
Unfortunately for Hucknall, midfield playmaker Sam Sims had to be taken off due to a hamstring injury in the first half, replaced by Mitchell Slawson.
Joe Ashurst and Devante Reittie both had chances either blocked or well saved by Marcus Coombes.
Despite a late rally in the first half, Hucknall trailed 1-0 going in to the break.
Matters worsened for the Yellows early in the second half when in the 50th minute Riley converted his rebounded effort after Randall spilled his initial shot.
Ashurst continued his barrage on goal as he spearheaded Hucknall’s attack.
However, it was to no avail as he saw all of his efforts sail wide of the mark.
The best chances for Hucknall came within the closing moments of the match.
Reittie saw his free kick picked out of the top right corner by Coombes and defender Joe Atkinson sent the resulting corner against the bar.
The game was a frustrating affair for Graves’ men, who extended their poor form against the sides in the top four.
One win and four defeats in five matches to Pinxton, Sherwood and Eastwood is the real damning indicator of why promotion has just slipped away.