Hitchin Town face two nerve-wracking games to secure their Southern League Premier Division Central future - after a loss at home to Halesowen Town.

A solitary goal scored by Kieren Donnelly, midway through the second half, was all that was needed to give Halesowen a 1-0 win and plunge the Canaries deeper into the mire.

The home side's mood was not helped either by a 2-0 win for AFC Sudbury away to Bromsgrove Sporting.

That result means the Suffolk side are just a point behind Brett Donnelly's men, and have a better goal difference, while Bromsgrove are three ahead of Hitchin.

The trio all have two games remaining.

Hitchin go to Stamford on Saturday before returning to Top Field on the final day for a match against Stourbridge.

Sudbury host already relegated Long Eaton United and then go to play-off chasing Leamington while Bromsgrove also have an away game with a side in the top five, their game against Stratford Town.

They then play Barwell at home.

The Comet: Hitchin Town manager Brett Donnelly. Picture: PETER ELSEHitchin Town manager Brett Donnelly. Picture: PETER ELSE (Image: Peter Else)

Speaking prior to the Halesowen game, Hitchin boss Donnelly spoke of what was needed if they were to get out of trouble.

"People may not be used to my ways," he said. "I call a spade a spade, and I have held back a little so far as I try to navigate the squad and work out how the land lies.

"The lads are now well aware of what I expect as a minimum on a match day. Against Leiston, we fell well short of what I expect a team to perform at.

"We lacked fight, determination and a will to win.

"That is something I can try and install but ultimately it comes from the player himself. How much do you want to win this game? How much do you want to avoid relegation?

"It’s not something I have on my CV and it’s not something I particularly want on it.

"It is up to those 20 boys to scrap their way out of trouble.

"Can we do it? Of course we can, I saw enough in the first games [since I joined the club]."