WORCESTER City have been dealt a blow ahead of the club’s biggest game in their recent history with veteran defender James Chambers being ruled out of this weekend’s survival showdown at AFC Fylde.
Last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Salford City coupled with a point for Gainsborough Trinity at Kidderminster Harriers means City go into the final game of the National League North season in 20th place, one point behind Gainsborough, but with a significantly better goal difference.
The Blue and Whites must better Gainsborough’s result at FC United of Manchester to escape relegation.
But should Gainsborough beat FC United of Manchester then Worcester’s 32-year stay at their current level will be over.
City dropped into the relegation zone after a closely-fought game with play-off chasing Salford at the Victoria Ground on Saturday.
Speaking after the game, skipper Danny Jackman urged City not to feel sorry for themselves.
“Let’s have a good week in training and travel to Fylde in a positive frame of mind,” he said. “It’s going to be tough but we’ll get ready for us, our whole season rests on one game now.”
Last weeekend, a bright opening from both sides led to chances at both ends before City keeper Nathan Vaughan was called into action to deny Salford skipper Simon Grand with a smart save.
John Snape’s men were not overawed and could have opened the scoring 60 seconds later when Junior English rattled the crossbar after a cross from Cieron Keane.
City proved to be the equal of their opponents but fell behind on 36 minutes when Michael Phenix shot through a crowd of players to hand the big-spending visitors the lead.
Worcester were handed even more reason to believe when James Poole was sent off for the visitors just before half-time for his second yellow card after kicking the ball away.
Jordan Murphy brought many in the 743 crowd to their feet with the equaliser on the hour when he rose to meet a Tom Sharpe cross from the right.
City pushed forward for the winner which would have left their fate in the own hands on the season’s final day.
However, chances came and went and they were left devastated five minutes from the end when Salford substitute Nick Haughton slotted the ball home.