A SWIFT return to the Southern League is still on the cards for Cinderford Town after the side booked its place in the Hellenic Premier play-offs.

The Foresters needed a win against Mangotsfield United on Tuesday night (April 16) and they delivered – despite being down to 10 men for the entire second half.

Cinderford had plenty of chances in the first half but could not find the target.

What could have been a pivotal came in the 40th minute when captain Dan Barnard slipped and put his hands on the ball with a Mangotsfield player through and the referee showed a red card.

The Foresters stepped up the pressure in the second half and the breakthrough came after half an hour when Adam Davies beat the goalmouth crush to put a cross in the back of the net.

The win put Town into the last play-off place, edging out Slimbridge by a single point, and they now face a tricky away semi-final at Corsham on Wednesday night (April 24).

Cinderford manager Matt Driscoll – in his first season at The Causeway club – could barely believe that his side has a tilt at promotion.

In an interview posted on the club’s social media following Tuesday’s night’s crucial win, he said: “It’s great.

“To make the play-offs this season is unbelievable. We’ve got Corsham Wednesday night which is a quick turnaround.

“We’ve come here today and we were fantastic. Saturday we were really good. We battered them first half and they didn’t have a shot on goal.

“We should have been three or four up. Dan has slipped and put his hand on the ball and was rightly sent off.

“We had a word at half time and said we have to go for it and to be honest we dominated the second half as well.

“Big change was Simmo (Mike Symons) coming on and we just went for it – a draw’s not good enough.

The pitch held up well considering the rain we had

Ambitions at the club have slowly risen over the season as the side’s performances took them higher up the table.

“The first ambition was to stay in the league and then lets finish in the top (half) of the table and then top 10 and then top five.”

Town gave themselves a chance to seal a play-off place with a 2-0 win over bottom side Wantage Town at The Causeway on Saturday (April 13) with Ethan Hayes and Ryan Hillier getting the crucial scores.

Wednesday’s Step Five play-off at Corsham’s Southbank ground kicks off at 7.45pm.

If the Foresters are successful in Wiltshire, they will face a showdown with the winners of the other semi-final between Highworth Town and Royal Wooton Bassett.

Cinderford Town (v Mangotsfield): Lewis Adams, Adam Davis, Drew Heffernan, Ben Vine, Dan Barnard (captain), Chris Knowles, Lewis Binns, Ben Watkins, Ryan Hillier, Craig Norman, Blaine Waugh. Substitutes: Kerry Morgan, Ethan Hayes, Josh Jones, Charlie Davies, Mike Symons.