Boss Paul Doswell reckons finishing second in the Ryman League Premier Division table means Sutton United deserve to be promoted.

Goals from midfielders Francis Quarm and Sonny Cobbs saw Doswell’s men win 2-1 at Cray Wanderers on Tuesday to guarantee themselves runners-up spot behind champions Dartford.

It means United will have the luxury of resting key performers at the weekend, safe in the knowledge they have already secured a play-off spot with home advantage.

Sutton lost out to Staines Town at the semi-final stage last season having scrambled into fifth place on the final day of the campaign and the Gander Green Lane chief believes there is a determination to see the job through this time around.

“There was no celebrating about the fact we finished second on Tuesday, because we know there is still work to be done,” he said.

“I’m an advocate of the play-offs, but, by rights, I think the team finishing second deserves to be promoted.

“If you finish fifth - like we did last year - and get up, you feel like you’ve just swum the Channel. It is more disappointing if you don’t go up when you are runners-up.

“Finishing second is a massive achievement and when you add it to getting to the first round of the FA Cup, the success of the youth team and the double winning reserves, it has been an amazing season.

“It means we are in the fortunate position of being able to rest players, but there is still a steely determination among the players to get the job done.”

Sutton, who drew at 1-1 at Harrow Borough on Saturday, have bounced back from a winless Easter weekend to win three of their last four league games.

Doswell expects to be without leading scorer Sam Gargan, experienced midfielder Alan Pouton and defender Alan Bray for the play-off campaign.

But the United manager believes the club’s fans - who have organised a family fun day for Saturday’s final home game league game against Billericay Town - can make up for the loss.

“If ever a club needed its supporters, it is now,” he added.

“Our support away from home has been fantastic. We have outnumbered most other teams on the road this year and have been very vocal.

“We desperately need as many people who support or have an affection for the club to be there on Tuesday night. It is a massive night for us.

“People forget we average more than most Blue Square South sides in terms of home crowds and we need to better that.

“The play-offs are cup finals and that is how we will be approaching them.”

Sutton United’s last game: Apr 24 Billericay Town (h).