HUNSLET WILL be playing for a second bite of the cherry when they close their regular season Betfred League One campaign at home to Oldham tomorrow (3pm).
The Parksiders are fourth in the table, but a loss could see them drop a place on points difference if Doncaster win at Workington.
Oldham are second and could still snatch top spot if they win and Whitehaven lose.
The league leaders will go up automatically with the teams from second to sixth playing off for the second promotion spot.
Third will be at home to fourth in the opening round next week with the losers getting a second chance. The teams in fifth and sixth, who also meet next weekend, will be playing sudden death.
“We have to be very mindful of the fact if we don’t win we could slip down to fifth,” Hunslet coach Gary Thornton warned.
“It is important because we have to try and finish in the top-four and get two bites of the cherry. If you finish fifth or sixth and you lose next week you are out.
“We can’t go any higher, but we want to consolidate fourth spot, then if we lose our first play-off game at least we will have a home tie against fifth or sixth.”
Picking up a home win is another incentive for Hunslet.
“Our home win to loss ratio this year has been totally unacceptable,” Thornton admitted.
“Our away record is second to none – we have won seven out of nine.
“You can’t complain about that, but our home form has inexplicably been poor.
“That’s the other thing, we want to give our home fans something to cheer because it has been disappointing up to now and we’ve lost games we shouldn’t have lost and not performed to the expected levels.
“We have got to try and put that right.”
Hunslet will be without Adam Robinson due to a thumb injury suffered in last week’s home defeat by Workington Town.
Jack Lee (hamstring) suffered a setback in training this week, but Jordan Andrade is available following a two-match ban and Zach Braham is expected to feature after recovering from a back injury.
Simon Brown (ankle) is a fitness doubt.