Southport travel to Sutton United on Saturday in the knowledge that any realistic hopes of survival were ended by two home defeats in the space of the first four days of April.
Wins at home to Guiseley and Macclesfield Town would have seen the Sandgrounders four points from safety with five games remaining, but now the gap of ten points is surely too much to bridge.
Sutton have certainly enjoyed their first season back in non-league’s premier division, and victory on Saturday would see them surpass the fifty point mark with four games to spare.
Factor in their FA Cup heroics and the success that they have achieved following on from their promotion last season is clear for all to see.
The club deserve great credit for ensuring that they kicked on following their efforts during the last campaign.
Southport’s challenge next season will be the complete opposite. They face the unenviable task of having to stabilise, at the very least, in a highly competitive National League North, and only have to look at the fortunes of Altrincham to see how hard that can be.
It is, without wanting to encourage negativity, perhaps time to prepare for the challenges that will be faced in August and beyond rather than hold out hope for a miracle in the final weeks of this season.
By Christy Byrne
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