Brave Clay Cross Town’s faint hopes of lifting the Central Midlands League North Division title finally ended in their last match of another successful campaign.
Town stretched their end-of-season winning run to seven matches.
But the 3-2 victory over top-of-the-table Harworth Colliery was not enough for the Millers to win the championship.
They had needed a seven-goal victory to deny Harworth the title because of the new champions’ superior goal difference.
Instead, Clay Cross had to settle for runners-up spot for a second successive season.
It was tough on the home side, who were beaten just once since November and had battled well through a fixture backlog to stay in contention.
But ultimately that 3-1 loss at AFC Bentley in April proved decisive.
Instead it was Harworth who took the crown to win promotion and end a 32-year association with the league — the longest continuous membership at first-team level by any club — as they look to step up to the Northern Counties East League.
The title-decider was watched by more than 200 supporters.
Clay Cross led 1-0 at half-time, but never looked like gaining the seven-goal victory required.
Ant Lynam, Callum Lytham and an own goal gave them the consolation of another victory.
Josh Davies and Kenzie Tomlinson replied for Harworth.