Two weeks ago relegation was a lingering fear but it now looks a frightening possibility after Chester FC lost 2-0 at Torquay United to make it six games without a win.
In contrast to a Gulls side who are fighting for their lives and managing to build real momentum, the Blues are sinking deeper and deeper into trouble and desperately need to stop the rot.
Goals from Nathan Blissett and Iffy Allen, the first on three minutes and the second in the 90th, proved the difference in a game where the Blues again worked hard but that alone is not enough.
Torquay took the lead on three minutes with the game's first chance as Dan Butler whipped a corner into the box and Nathan Blissett found space between defenders to steer a header past Jon Worsnop.
Blissett's power and the pace of wingers Toby Ajala and Iffy Allen caused problems for Chester's back four and it was hard going at the other end too with few opportunities.
John Rooney scraped the crossbar with a dipping free-kick from 30 yards while Craig Mahon showed signs of a return to form as he posed the biggest threat for the visitors.
Despite having an even share of possession, Chester created little and it was the home side who came closest to finding another goal with Blissett poking wide after Ajala's cross wasn't dealt with and Worsnop beating out an Allen strike on the counter.
Torquay made a strong start to the second-half came close to going 2-0 up when the Blues defence went missing and the ball found Ajala, whose shot beat Worsnop but not Ryan Astles on the line.
Alabi's brave header resulted in a routine catch for Brendan Moore but he was then replaced along with Tom Shaw as Craig Hobson and Ryan Lloyd came on.
Rooney had a shot blocked at point-blank range as Chester showed signs of life but the Gulls continued to threaten with Worsnop twice saving from the dangerous Ajala.
Ross Hannah forced Moore into his first serious save with a powerful strike from 20 yards before Astles failed to connect with Rooney's corner when well placed.
But for the most part the Blues were feeding on scraps and the game could have been over when Blissett found himself unmarked at the back post but Worsnop's block and another goal-line clearance from Astles denied him a second goal.
Kane Richards came on for the final minutes but with Chester throwing men forward in search of an equaliser, Torquay broke from deep and Allen beat the offside trap to slide the ball past Worsnop to make it 2-0 and secure what could prove a vital win.
Chester FC: Worsnop, Hughes, Sharps, Astles, Hunt, Alabi (Hobson 57), Shaw (Lloyd 57), George (K Richards 86), Rooney, Mahon, Hannah.
Subs: Chapell, Thompson.
Booked: Sharps, Shaw, George, Rooney.
Torquay United: Moore, Verma, Smith, MacDonald, Butler, Allen, Rees, Raachi, Chaney (Harrad 65), Ajala (C Richards 75), Blissett (Gerring 90).
Subs: Fisher, Hancox.
Goals: Blissett 3, Allen 90.
Booked: Ajala, Raachi, Harrad.
Referee: Wayne Barratt (Worcester)
Star man: Craig Mahon.