THE cushion which seemed to be protecting Chester City from a quick drop back into the Conference was further deflated on Saturday.
A combination of their second-half collapse at the Causeway Stadium and the ability of their fellow strugglers to continue picking up valuable points has dragged them further towards the relegation trapdoor.
This performance wasn't as inept as the Shrewsbury shambles, but City's defending and lack of resilience in the second half was just as alarming.
Without suspended Paul Carden, City lacked a driving force in midfield and, up front, Michael Branch and Robbie Foy suffered the consequences, having to feed off scraps.
It was from one of these that Branch showed composure to punish a rare mistake by the home side to give City a surprise lead midway through the first half. But roared on by a crowd who had been given free admission, the hosts wasted little time in getting back into the game.
How many fans who turned up for the freebie return for the next home game remains to be seen, but they loved the way their team ripped into Chester either side of half-time, encouraged by defending which wouldn't have looked out of place in the lower reaches of the Conference.
The goal apart, there wasn't much for the travelling City fans to get excited about once Wycombe had equalised.
A storming finish to the first half produced a couple of hectic goalmouth scrambles and was a reliable indication of what was to follow at the start of the second period.
Ian Stonebridge and Matt Bloomfield opened up the City defence at will and when Nathan Tyson helped himself to his second goal, the odds were on him scoring his second successive hat-trick.
When Gus Uhlenbeek and Roger Johnson punished the City defence in the space of a minute for passing up several opportunities to clear the ball to safety, another five-goal hammering looked a certainty.
It wasn't for the lack of trying on Wycombe's part.
Tyson missed a great chance following a darting run down the left and Wayne Brown foiled Stonebridge in added time with the save of the match.
In between, City managed to force Uhlenbeek into a handling offence in the box and Branch stepped up to give the scoreline some respectability, but it didn't disguise the enormous problems facing Ian Rush as the relegation dogfight gathers intensity.