Sutton United go into tomorrow’s showdown with Ebbsfleet aiming to arrest an alarming slump in form.

The U’s have picked up just four points out of a possible 21 from their last seven games, a string of results which has seen them slip to fourth in the Vanarama National League with two games to go.

Although they are still very much in the promotion picture, it has been a month to forget for Paul Doswell's men.

They went to Maidstone on March 17 hoping a win would wrestle back pole position from Macclesfield Town. But the Stones won 1-0 ending Sutton's 10-game unbeaten streak.

Now, six matches and four more defeats later, the boot is on the other foot with the U's returning to Kent hoping to end Ebbsfleet's impressive 11-game unbeaten run which has seen them edge into the play-off places.

Sutton managed to pick up a point from a 1-1 draw against Hartlepool last Saturday, but their latest setback - a 2-1 defeat at Maidenhead United on Tuesday night - prompted a passionate response from the boss

"It was one of the poorest performances from a Sutton team for a long, long time and I am not just talking about this season," said Doswell.

"Occasionally you get these performances but we were poor at Maidstone, poor against Bromley and we've just been shocking tonight.

"We could have been 5-0 down. They were hungrier than us, sharper than us and physically stronger than us."

Harry Pritchard gave Maidenhead the lead in the 24th minute and the Magpies increased their advantage through Jake Goodman eight minutes later but the match produced a few more late twists and turns.

Sutton goalkeeper Jamie Butler saved a Pritchard penalty with 13 minutes left and then an unlikely comeback was on when Craig Eastmond reduced the arrears on 87 minutes.

Backed by 330 travelling fans, the U’s came agonisingly close to snatching a late leveller but Ross Stearn was thwarted by goalkeeper Carl Pentney.

Doswell didn't pull any punches in his brutally honest assessment of his team's latest showing.

"If we had scored at the end then that would have papered over what was a hugely disappointing performance," said the Sutton boss.

"You've only got to look at the quality of our free-kicks. Aswad (Thomas) under hits, Ross (Stearn) over hits and then Aswad under hits.

"You look at their (Maidenhead) delivery, they were spot on every time. With our delivery tonight, I'd have been upset with my under 14 team.

"We don't look right and that's up to me to sort out.

"Ebbsfleet have gone 11 unbeaten. They've got the momentum, we haven't. We look more like a relegation team than we do a promotion team.

"Whether we've run out of steam, whether the long season has caught up with a few people, I don't know.

"I'd like to apologise to our supporters. Over 300 of them have come here to see that shambles.

"We've got two games to go and it's up to the players to give a reaction."

Ebbsfleet United v Sutton United, Saturday, April 21, 3pm.

United's final home game of the regular season against Aldershot Town next Saturday (April 28, 12.30pm) has been made all ticket.