LESS than a year after a record-breaking league season, the Magpies last night lost their status as a Conference South club – but boss Phil Simkin insists his players have not failed anyone.

A 2-0 loss at home to Hayes & Yeading United finally made it impossible for Simkin’s men to save themselves from relegation with three games of the campaign left.

Speaking to Echosport after the match, Simkin, who has never been relegated as a player or manager before, said his troops should be proud of themselves.

“This isn’t failure,” he said. “Failure is when you don’t try. Failure is when you give up. Failure is when you walk away from the challenge.

“That’s not what the players have done. They should be proud of their efforts, proud of what they’ve done this season.

“It’s very hard for people outside this football club to understand that because they just see results and league tables. The case is that I couldn’t see where we were going to win a game when this season started.

“We’ve taken it to within three games of the end of the season – I was convinced it would be over by Boxing Day.

“Players want to play in the Conference, I want to remain a Conference manager, but if it’s not to be then it’s not to be.”