Gosport Borough edged closer to the Southern League premier division trapdoor with a heavy 7-0 defeat against Kettering Town at Privett Park.
A demoralised Borough were outplayed by the play-off chasing visitors.
With three games left Gosport remain two points behind relegation rivals Dunstable Town.
However, Borough have played one game more and have an inferior goal difference.
There was a surprise return for Craig McAlister in Gosport’s starting line-up.
The striker had walked out of the club to join Blackfield & Langley six weeks ago but is back at Privett Park.
Borough started positively and Toyosi Olusanya almost headed home at the far post.
Kettering dampened the home spirits, though, by taking a 12th-minute lead.
Ben Milnes’ shot was blocked inside the area before Matthew Stephens struck home the rebound.
The hosts had a let off when Harry Medway fouled Rhys Hoeness and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
However, on the advice his assistant, the official changed his decision to a free-kick on the edge of the area.
The visitors extended their lead on 19 minutes when Brett Solkhon hammered the ball into the roof of the net from a corner.
Gosport’s best effort also came from a corner with a goal-bound McAlister header tipped onto the bar by the visiting keeper.
There was no respite for the hosts and in the 25th minute Solkhon coolly converted a penalty following a foul by Nathan Walker.
Borough keeper Patrick O’Flaherty produced four top-drawer saves at the start of the second half.
A fourth goal was inevitable, though, with Rene Howe netting on 58 minutes.
Stephens added a fifth goal in the 73rd minute, Howe notched his second of the game before Aaron O’Connor rubbed salt into the wound in the closing minutes of the clash.