STAINES TOWN 2 RAMSGATE 1
ONLY AFC Wimbledon stand between Staines Town and their highest level of football.
The Swans earned their place in the Ryman Premier play-off final with a well-deserved semi-final victory over Ramsgate on Tuesday night.
The only worry for the Staines faithful, however, was the sight of striker Richard Butler being taken off to hospital suffering from possible concussion.
Butler received the injury in the game's pivotal moment 10 minutes after the break, when he suffered a sickening blow to the side of his head in an aerial challenge with Ramsgate defender Olly Schulz, which earned Staines a penalty.
After a nerve jangling four-minute delay, ice-cool Dave Sargent stepped up to fire home from the spot.
Swans doubled their lead when Andre Scarlett hammered a shot in off the post with 15 minutes to go.
There was still a nervy finish for Staines when the visitors pulled one back with five minutes to go, but the Swans clung on for victory.
Boss Steve Cordery said: "We knew we were the better footballing team, but we knew we had to win the war first, and I think my lads dealt with the situation brilliantly.
"In the end we outclassed them, and we could have won by three or four when the gaps
opened up as they had to come out."
Staines host Wimbledon, who won their semi-final 3-1 against AFC Hornchurch, in the final at Wheatsheaf Park on Saturday.
The game is all-ticket. They can be from today at the club's ticket office at £9 for adults and concessions £5. [25a0] Ashford Town (Middx) missed out on the play-offs - and a tie against rivals Staines
Town - by just two points, despite stuffing champions Chelmsford 4-0 on Saturday.
The Tangerines needed to win and see other results go their way, as a Gavin Smith brace,plus goals from Ricky Wellard and Wayne Harrison, completed their side of the bargain.
But Ramsgate's 5-0 win over Hastings saw them fill the final berth instead.