HEMEL Town do battle with Oxford City at Vauxhall Road tomorrow night in a game which could truly make or break their season.
With only three games left to play, the Tudors are languishing in 21st position in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division table – seven points adrift of safety and with their survival hopes hanging by the thinnest of threads.
And Mark Eaton’s side know they must take at least a point from their clash with high-flying Oxford if they are to stand any chance of beating the drop.
And while a defeat would relegate the Tudors, a victory could be just the boost they need in order to stage the Great Escape and preserve their Southern Premier status.
It will be no easy task, however, against an Oxford side who are fighting for promotion at the other end of the table.
Oxford sit in fourth place, two points adrift of AFC Totton and Cambridge City, but with two games in hand.
There is also still an outside chance of them catching league-leaders Brackley Town.
Both sides know a win is crucial, and in the end the result will surely come down to which team wants it more.
Tudors boss Eaton is defiant in the face of such pressure, though, and has an unerring belief in his side’s ability to stage a late dash for survival.
“We’ve got to stay positive and keep believing that we can get out of this,” he said.
“I’m determined to get the club out of this and build for the future.
“I’ve spoken at length with the chairman (Dave Boggins) and we stand shoulder to shoulder in how we want the club to go forward.”
Should Hemel avoid defeat tomorrow, they will face two nerve-wracking must-win games to end the campaign.
The Tudors take on relegated Cirencester Town at Vauxhall Road on Saturday, before travelling to 14th-placed Bashley on the last day of the season.