JOHN Coventry is hoping East Thurrock United’s 50th birthday celebrations will not be tainted by suffering relegation today.

Rocks’ drop into the Isthmian Premier League could be confirmed if they fail to beat high-flying Welling United this afternoon.

A number of East Thurrock’s former players and managers have been invited back to Rookery Hill as the club celebrates 50 years since being founded.

However, Coventry will not be able to join in the celebrations if Rocks are relegated.

“The fact that people have gone to the effort of inviting a lot of people associated with the club back is fantastic,” said the East Thurrock boss.

“We will be trying to celebrate 50 years as a club but if we get relegated on the same day then some people might not be in a party mood.

“If we were to win and take it to the final day of the season at Hungerford Town, then it will be a must-win game for both sides and anything could happen.

“If we could take it to the final day that would be great but, at the same time, I want to be put out of my misery!”

Weston-super-Mare’s relegation was confirmed on Saturday, with another two places in the drop zone up for grabs.

If Truro City or Hungerford win today, against Hampton & Richmond Borough and Torquay United respectively, then Rocks will face relegation regardless of their result against third-placed Welling.

But if Truro and Hungerford fail to seal victory and East Thurrock triumph then it will go down to the wire.

If Rocks are to come out on top against Welling, they will need to recover from the last-gasp 2-1 defeat to play-off chasing St Albans City on Friday.

Amos Nasha put East Thurrock in front, but goals from Clovis Kamdjo in the 85th and seventh minute of injury time ensured Rocks left empty handed.

Both sides finished the clash with 10 men, with Tom Bender and Ibrahim Sori-Diallo seeing red, while Coventry was sent to the stands.