Macclesfield's 15 year run in the Football League came to an end this afternoon with a disappointing home defeat to Burton Albion.
The Silkmen threatened from set pieces in the first half but goals in the last ten minutes from Jacques Maghoma and Calvin Zola sealed Macc's fate with rivals Barnet and Hereford both winning.
Brian Horton paired Ben Tomlinson and George Donnelly up front, trying to go on the front foot against a side with the worst defence in the league after conceding seven in their last away game at Bristol Rovers.
However, the home side looked nervy early on and struggled to create many clear cut chances from open play but did threaten from corners and free kicks swung into the box.
In the seventh minute a long ball over the top caught out the Macc defence and when it went over the heads of Zola and Ben Futcher, Cleveland Taylor latched onto it and his attempted lob was well blocked by Jose Veiga.
Macc's first effort on goal came when Colin Daniel did well to win a corner on the left and Matthew Hamshaw's inswinging kick was headed tamely to the keeper by Tomlinson.
On 21 minutes another Hamshaw delivery, this time from a free kick on the right, was put deeper to the back post and Futcher's powerful header came back off the top of the post and was cleared to safety. Hamshaw's set plays caused the Brewers defence problems every time and it seemed that if Macc were to break the deadlock then it would come from one of his crosses.
Two minutes later another Hamshaw delivery was met by a Macc head, this time Nat Brown meeting the cross but heading inches wide of the post.
Jack Dyer's 20 yard drive was blocked behind by the head of Brown as Burton looked to fire in efforts from outside the box, before Macc again went close from a Hamshaw cross when Futcher climbed above his man but again his header went just the wrong side of the post.
A minute before the interval after Macc had ended the half the stronger of the sides, the visitors came close when Zola picked the ball up on the corner of the box and curled a right footed effort which swung a foot wide of the far post.
With news filtering through that results elsewhere couldn't be going much worse for Macc, they came out in the second half knowing that it was win or bust.
The first chance of the second period unsurprisingly came from a Hamshaw corner which was met by Brown but headed wide to his frustration.
In the 53rd minute Macc saw a handball appeal waved away by the referee and soon after at the other end the Brewers came within inches of taking the lead when Maghoma's left footed effort beat the unsighted Veiga and skimmed off the outside of the post.
On the hour mark Ross Draper conceded a dangerous free kick just a yard outside the box and Chris Palmer's low drive was blocked by the wall, with Adam Bolder's follow up effort straight at Veiga.
Zola squandered a good opportunity for Burton when Maghoma's cross from the right looked prefect for him but he swung and missed the ball from just 12 yards.
Horton threw on Matt Smith in place of Tomlinson and with 20 minutes to go he managed to get his head on a Carl Tremarco long throw but nobody was gambling at the back post to reach the loose ball.
On 79 minutes substitute Jimmy Phillips crossed from the right and it looked perfect for Zola but Veiga came flying off his line to dive out and punch clear.
The opening goal came not long after and from a neat move across the pitch to find Phillips who this time pulled the ball back for Maghoma to drive low past Veiga from around the penalty spot.
With Macc now desperately needing to score twice in under ten minutes a fantastic chance was missed when a cross from the left broke for Donnelly after Smith and Nathan Stanton had gone for the ball in the air. The Macc striker blasted his effort goalwards from close range but keeper Ross Atkins blocked and the rebound couldn't be forced in before it was somehow cleared.
Smith hit a half volley off target from 20 yards before Daniel's skidding drive also went wide as any faint hopes of a comeback evaporated.
The points were wrapped up in stoppage time when a long ball forward beat Futcher and Zola burst past him to just reach it before Veiga as he came out, knocking it past the keeper and then rolling the ball into the empty net for his 14th of the campaign.
The final whistle blew to signal the end of Macc's 22nd game without a win, a horrendously injury hit run which has seen them slide to the foot of the table and relegation with one final game at Southend next week to conclude 15 years in the League against all odds.
We will be back.