A stylish finish to Sutton's advance to elite company

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SUTTON UNITED joined Nuneaton Borough, the champions of the Dr Martens League, in securing promotion to the Nationwide Conference by thrashing Aldershot Town 5-0 at Gander Green Lane last night.

Goals from Richard Skelly, Dave Harlow, Andy Riley, Steve Watson and Mark Watson ensured that Sutton claimed the Ryman League title in style. The celebrations had been delayed due to the postponement of the game against Aldershot on Tuesday, thanks to a waterlogged pitch, but last night Sutton returned to the Conference after an eight-year absence.

The third Conference promotion place is likely to be filled by Altrincham, who are poised to win the UniBond League. The Cheshire side are not in action tomorrow but their two title rivals, Worksop Town and Guiseley, meet at the former's Sandy Lane ground. If that game is drawn, Altrincham can seal the championship with a win at Frickley Athletic next Tuesday.

Even if they slip up then, the Robins will still have two more league games in which to secure the points they need. They would also go up as runners-up in the unlikely event of Worksop winning the title, because Sandy Lane does not meet Conference requirements.

Farnborough Town were relegated from the Conference last weekend. Leek Town and Welling United are likely to join them.