A 2-2 draw at home to FA Trophy winners North Ferriby United could not prevent Leamington sliding to relegation this afternoon.
Wins for Stalybridge Celtic and Brackley left Paul Holleran’s side five points from safety with just next Saturday’s trip to Boston to come and means Brakes’ two-season stint in the Conference North is at an end.
It had looked so much more promising just short of the hour-mark when Nathan Hicks poked home the loose ball to put the hosts 2-1 up after Jordan Goddard’s free-kick had been parried by Jonathan Hedge.
With Stalybridge 1-0 down at Hednesford and Colwyn Bay also losing, Holleran’s wish to take Brakes’ survival fight to the final day looked like it might become a reality.
However, Jason St Juste, who had set up Curtis Bateson for the Villagers’ 34th-minute opener, was alert to a loose ball in the box and pulled his side level in the 68th minute.
James Mace had a a header cleared off the line by Josh Wilde but an all-out assault on the Ferriby goal failed to materialise, with Ashley Worsfold not introduced until the 83rd minute.
As time ran out, Hicks lashed two efforts well wide of the target, while Danny Newton, scorer of Brakes’ equaliser a minute before half-time, saw a goalbound header plucked from the top corner by Hedge.
But it was to prove too little, too late, with the final whistle greeted by near silence, news of Celtic’s injury-time winner at Hednesford only adding to the funereal atmosphere.