It seems likely that Harrogate Railway will require a minor miracle if they are to avoid a second relegation in as many years.
Marlon Adams’ side lost out 4-1 to Hemsworth Miners Welfare at Station View on Wednesday night, a result that leaves them two points adrift of NCEL Premier Division safety, but having played five games more than 19th-placed Hall Road Rangers.
Although the Starbeck club still have two fixtures left to play, even if they were to win both, their significantly inferior goal-difference means that they are reliant on Hall Road not picking up more than three points from their remaining seven matches.
“It doesn’t look good for us,” conceded boss Adams in the wake of his team’s second loss in the space of 48 hours.
“We just have to set out to win our last two games and then see what happens with results elsewhere. That is all we can do now.”
Railway, who only narrowly beat the drop last term following their demotion from Evo-Stik Division One North at the end of 2015/16, were unbeaten in four matches at the start of the week, but appear to run out of steam following a gruelling end-of-season schedule.
“We’ve been playing well and doing okay recently, but fatigue has just caught up with us in the last couple of games,” Adams added.
“We have had to play six times in the space of just 11 days. How are we supposed to cope with that? I know that we are not the only side in this situation, but the players are tired now.
“You could see it against Hemsworth. We looked fatigued, but I don’t have any complaints with the result.
“They deserved all three points and we didn’t do enough to get anything from the match, but like I say, the lads had nothing left to give.”
Brad Docherty fired in at the far post to hand Hemsworth the lead after 21 minutes of Tuesday’s clash and an own goal doubled the visitors’ advantage just before half-time.
Josh Underwood netted for the second game in succession in the 58th minute to hand Railway a life-line, but Doherty struck again with a fine solo effort to restore Welfare’s two-goal cushion.
Adam Wilson’s 74th-minute effort then ended the contest and left Adams and his players on the brink.
Next up for the men from Station View is a home meeting with Garforth Town on Saturday, 3pm kick-off.