THIRD place in the United Counties League Premier Division is now the best Newport Pagnell can hope for after a week that saw them lose to both their title rivals.
Last Tuesday night’s 5-2 defeat at leaders St Neots Town was followed by a 4-2 loss to Kings Lynn at Willen Road on Saturday, leaving Newport to reflect on what might have been this season.
In truth that defeat at St Neots realistically ended any remaining title hopes Newport had, but they still picked themselves enough to take on Kings Lynn - themselves outsiders to win the league.
Darren Lynch gave the Swans the lead four minutes in with a fantastic diving header, but Luke Thurlbourne levelled for Lynn after 12 minutes, turning the ball in from a corner.
And in a frantic start to the game the Norfolk side then took the lead on the quarter hour with Jack Defty outjumping Newport keeper James Broadbent to a Pat Bexfield cross to score with a header off the post.
Stephen Spriggs made it three for Kings Lynn after 25 minutes of play, checking inside to finish from 18 yards.
But the Swans weren’t done with yet though and a 48th minute goal from Vinny Shrieves saw them back in the game as the powerful striker outpaced the Lynn defence before firing home.
However, Robbie Harris wrapped up Kings Lynn’s win three minutes past the hour mark to see his side keep pace with St Neots - now six points behind with a game in hand.
And the division’s big spenders both won again on Tuesday night to push further clear of the Swans who now go to Stewarts & Lloyds Corby on Saturday with nothing but pride, and that third place to play for.
On the same day that Newport’s title hopes were ended, Olney Town also saw their chances of success in UCL Division One suffer a huge blow when they fell to a surprising defeat to Eynesbury Rovers at East Street.
The Nurserymen spent several months sitting pretty at the top of the standings, but could now finish as low as fourth following a difficult couple of months and some rather erratic form, leading to a shock 2-0 defeat to Rovers.
Darren Woodend put Eynesbury ahead on the quarter hour, heading in from a Lee Booker free-kick, and the Olney nerves will have started to jingle after just one win in four.
Olney had a lot of second half pressure without creating many chances, although debutante Nick Bines missed a great chance to get them back in the game.
And the hosts were made to pay for that as Eynesbury’s success was sealed seven minutes from time by Lee Bassett’s spot-kick after Adam Boothby was brought down by Paul Blackwell.
Their defeat leaves Olney seven points adrift of Kempston Rovers at the top and they have also played a game more.
New Bradwell St Peter’s 10-game South Midlands League Division One winning run came to an end when they lost to Hoddesdon Town last week, and they fell to a second defeat in four days away at London Lions on Saturday.
However, they picked themselves up to earn a point in a 1-1 draw with London Colney on Tuesday, and will be looking forward to getting back home with a game with Amersham Town on Saturday.
Amersham sit second bottom of the pile, but improved their chances of avoiding the drop greatly as they beat Stony Stratford Town 2-0 at Ostlers Lane, virtually confirming their relegation.
Stony entertain fellow strugglers Cranfield this weekend, but having now conceded 120 goals this term, they will need a miracle to avoid the drop. Last time out Cranfield were held to a 3-3 draw by Ampthill Town.
Also in desperate need of divine intervention are Division Two side MK Wandderers, but while they had a weekend off, rivals Bletchley Town moved further away from them at the bottom of the pile with a 2-1 win against Winslow United, while Old Bradwell went down 2-0 at Pitstone & Ivinghoe.