First, however, they must beat Southgate, already qualified for Reading, and then await the result from Canterbury. The Kent club would lose out if beaten by Guildford. Mathematically a large defeat for Reading at home to relegated Brooklands would also let Beeston in but the odds are heavily stacked against this.
Beeston's manager Graham Griffiths, announcing a full squad, said: "More than we had in Europe," referring to the absence of Philip Sully and Andrew West with the England Under-18 squad winning European Gold, and added: "We are looking forward to the game where much will depend on how Southgate approach it. Five days in Europe has given us a big bonus. We learnt more there than in half a season at home." Southgate will be without their high-scoring German international, Eiko Rott, missing with a knee injury.
Peterborough Town, looking to regain their National League status, drew first blood in the Inter League play-offs at Milton Keynes yesterday, beating Fareham 2-1.