Bedlington Terriers suffered a heavy defeat away to Durham City on Saturday.
And the 6-1 reverse leaves them with a real fight on their hands if they are to retain their Ebac Northern League division one status.
The next three games are now crucial in their battle for survival.
At present they are two points above Team Northumbria after the same number of games.
On Saturday they entertain Bishop Auckland then Penrith and then come up against Newton Aycliffe – so it is all in their court.
Against in-form Durham they had to reckon without key defender James Harmison who had sustained a broken nose against Newcastle Benfield, which was a body blow as he had been outstanding in recent games.
The opening half was a close affair, despite a disastrous start in going a goal down in the fifth minute when Jack Walker took advantage of a defensive lapse.
But Bedlington fought back to equalise in the 28th minute through the lively Dylan Williamson.
Just before the break Terriers’ defence let in Scott Fenwick who made no mistake to beat keeper Towart.
After the interval it was the impressive Fenwick who broke through to extend the home side’s advantage to two goals.
At this stage the home side were in the ascendancy with Terriers’ rearguard unable to cope.
In the closing stages Durham added three further goals with Fenwick securing his hat-trick and in injury time Ian Ward and Nick Allen were target to make it a black day for Bedlington.
The Bedlington management are still confident of survival with maximum points a must in their remaining home games.
The position at the bottom of the table has Team Northumbria, Sunderland RCA and Bedlington in what will prove a real dogfight for survival.