Stockport County will look to confirm their place in the National League playoff semi-finals when they travel to Yeovil Town on the final day of the season.
The Hatters are currently third in the table, but if they were to slip up at Huish Park and Hartlepool United were to beat Weymouth, they would drop to fourth and enter the playoffs at the quarter-final stage.
It has not been an easy ride for Stockport since they were relegated from the Football League for the first time in their history in 2011, but a decade on they hold high hopes of returning.
Having spent six campaigns in tier six, they returned to the National League last season and finished eighth on points-per-game, missing out on the playoffs by 0.05 of a point, but in 2020-21 they have been pushing for promotion all year long and have not dropped out of the top seven since December.
Club legend Jim Gannon was surprisingly sacked in January with the club fourth in the table, but results have not faltered under replacement Simon Rusk, with County currently on a magnificent 17-game unbeaten streak – a run only bettered by Manchester City and Brentford in the top five tiers of English football across the whole season.
Rusk's men have drawn their last three matches – include a 1-1 tie against Woking last weekend – but all of those came on home turf. They have won their last five away matches, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one; that has helped them become the best defensive side in the National League; no team has conceded fewer goals than County (32).
Alex Reid scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for Stockport in this season's reverse meeting in February, while the Greater Manchester outfit also knocked Yeovil out of the FA Cup in November.
The Glovers, relegated from League Two in 2018-19, competed in the playoffs last season but were beaten in the quarter-finals by Barnet.
This season has been a much more difficult campaign for Yeovil both on and off the field – they have spent it almost exclusively in the bottom half having failed to win any of their first 10 games, while the club were struck by tragedy in March as captain Lee Collins took his own life.
Darren Sarll's side are currently 15th, having won just one of their last six matches; they were involved in a seven-goal thriller last weekend, losing 4-3 away at Altrincham despite leading 3-2 with just five minutes of the 90 left to play.
A high-scoring defeat summed up Yeovil's campaign pretty well; no side in the bottom half has netted more goals this season (58) but only three clubs across the whole division have conceded more (67).
The Glovers are much stronger at home than they are on the road, picking up 63% of their points this season at Huish Park, while they have lost just two of their last 14 games in Somerset.
Josh Neufville had to be stretchered off just 12 minutes into Yeovil's clash with Altrincham last weekend after suffering a broken ankle, ending his time on loan from Luton Town prematurely.
The attacking midfielder adds to the Glovers' already lengthy injury list; they are ending the campaign with around 10 first team players unavailable, including the suspended Luke Wilkinson.
Harry Cardwell failed a late fitness test ahead of Stockport's match last weekend but will hope to be back involved at Huish Park and partner Alex Reid upfront.
Only three players have scored more times in the National League this season than Reid (17), but the 25-year-old has not found the back of the net in his last three appearances.
Stockport's strong defensive record is largely thanks to imposing centre-back trio James Jennings, Liam Hogan and Ashley Palmer, who have started the last 12 games together in the backline and kept seven clean sheets.
Yeovil Town possible starting lineup:
Smith; Bradley, Sass-Davies, Kelly, Dickinson; Lee, D'Ath, Knowles, Dagnall; Reid, Quigley
Stockport County possible starting lineup:
Hinchliffe; Jennings, Hogan, Palmer; Southam-Hales, Croasdale, Newby, Rooney, Williams; Reid, Cardwell
We say: Yeovil Town 1-2 Stockport County
Three successive draws suggests that Stockport are stumbling over the line into the playoffs, but they have still been in control of games and will expect to dominate proceedings at Huish Park. Yeovil's home record is good, but they have struggled with consistency and with nothing to play for they may give in to the County pressure.