Richard Best, 44, was found unconscious on a pavement with a damaged flip flop nearby last July.
The inquest in Swansea heard he had drunk at least eight pints of larger before walking to his home in Baglan shortly before midnight.
He was found four hours later and was taken to hospital with head injuries.
He never came round and his life support system was ended three days later.
The inquest heard steelworker Mr Best had been watching a match at the Bagle Brook pub in Baglan on 5 July.
On his way home he was seen stumbling and “having difficulty walking” by a passing driver.
Det Con Christopher Edwards told the hearing: “Scenes of crime officers examined the broken left flip flop.
“He may have stumbled as he tripped up on the kerb and lost both his flip flops.”
Foul play was ruled out, but the inquest could not rule out the possibility that he was pushed.
A police investigation at the time ruled out his family’s claim that he was attacked on his way home.
‘Staggering and tripping’
Swansea Coroner Colin Phillips said: “Flip-flops are difficult to walk around in even if you are sober.
“We have heard Richard had downed between eight and 10 pints of lager.
“He was seen staggering and tripping – the hard evidence is that his flip flop was broken and in an odd position on the road.
“The probability is that he’s done that in a fall, gone backwards and struck his head.”
He recorded a verdict of accidental death.