Epsom & Ewell boss Glynn Mandeville knows all hope of promotion has gone, but he insists his players will not take their foot off the gas.

Despite a 3-2 win at Hanworth Villa on Saturday, other results meant the Salts can no longer claim second place in the Premier Division of the Combined Counties League.

Hartley Wintney were crowned champions on Tuesday night, but it was announced last month that they will not be taking up promotion because they lack the ground requirements – opening second place, at the time, to the Salts, Ashford Town and Camberley.

However, with two games left only Camberley and Ashford, who the Salts host this weekend, can win promotion.

Mandeville said: “When the announcement about Hartley was made, we knew we would have to win all our remaining games.

“We also knew we played both Camberley and Ashford, so if we took points off them, and they dropped a few points, we’d be in with a good shout.

“We were going well until we lost to Camberley when some poor refereeing cost us a 2-0 lead and we ended up losing 3-2.

“The lads played really well against Hanworth Villa, and they will continue to play well until the end of the season.”

He added: “I am not the kind of manager who says ‘well done lads, let’s turn it in’ with two games to play – and we may still have a say in who goes up when we play Ashford.”

While disappointed at the inconsistent level of referees, Mandeville has also pointed to other reasons behind a league campaign that just came up short.

He said: “We lost Kyle Hough, Dan Dean and Sam Currie to injuries during the season and they are key players for us.

“We also lost Daryl Cooper-Smith to a 132-day FA suspension for bookings accrued at a Sunday League side and that were not passed on to us when he joined us.

“So injuries and suspensions to key players at key times have hindered us.”

He added: “The weather has not helped – we’d lost one game before Christmas and were on a really good run, but then loads of games were postponed and we lost all that momentum.”

Despite this season’s disappointment, Mandeville has seen enough to convince him that the Salts can come back stronger next season.

And that is another reason why he wants to finish this season strongly.

“I really enjoy being at Epsom & Ewell, it’s a good club with good people,” he said.

“A lot of the players have already said they want to be around next season, and we know we can challenge at the top.”