Sutton United boss Paul Doswell may hope Hampton & Richmond Borough survive the Blue Square South drop, but that can wait until after this weekend.
The Beavers, in the bottom three for much of the season, gave United’s hopes of finishing in the top five a major boost as a Dave Tarpey strike secured a 1-0 win at sixth-placed Dover Athletic on Tuesday.
That result came days after Doswell’s men secured a creditable 0-0 draw at play-off rivals Welling United on Saturday – the same day Hampton were beating Weston-Super-Mare 2-1 to throw themselves a relegation lifeline.
United were held 2-2 at Gander Green Lane the last time the two teams met at Hampton and while Doswell expects their revival to continue under boss Mark Harper, the Sutton chief would rather it suffered a hitch this week.
“Mark has done a tremendous job when you consider their budget is one of the smallest,” he said. “They were known as a bit of a Wimbledon in terms of style, but he has completely changed that this season.
“They probably deserved to win the last time we played – they created more chances than us and were the better team if we’re honest.
“I hope they get out of trouble and I think they will.
“On recent results they will be tough to beat but I just hope their good form doesn’t upset us on Saturday.”
Hampton’s win on Tuesday gave Sutton an eight-point cushion between them and sixth-place Dover in the race for a top-five finish.
“There is a gap now, but we have some tough games to go,” added Doswell.
“We’re in a strong position, but whatever happens we’ve had a good season.
“We’ve reached the second round of the FA Cup, have been within a few minutes of a Surrey Senior Cup final and are on course for the play-offs.”