Matlock Town seem to be doing their very best to stay involved in the Evo-Stik Premier Division relegation dogfight.
Their plans against a strong Curzon Ashton went out of the window inside 18 seconds when a horrible mix-up between Muhammed Sabo and goalkeeper Jon Kennedy saw the goalkeeper scuff a clearance to Ashley Stott, who steered the ball into the vacant net.
Manager Mark Hume hadn’t even taken his seat in the dug-out and his side were in deep trouble.
Matlock at least made a decent fight of it after that, with Jamie McDonagh hitting a post in the third minute and Otis Khan pulling another shot wide.
A break from Ted Cribley on the right saw his centre flash across the Curzon penalty box and just beyond Niall McManus at the far post before a Jamie McDonagh strike was deflected away for a corner.
Curzon’s Jordan Wright shot perilously close to Kennedy’s post before the visitors, without having to find full throttle, extended their lead via another gift after 35 minutes.
Nobody picked up defender Daniel Shaw, who headed in from a left-wing corner, and that was just about game over.
Wright was denied by a rare piece of decent Matlock defending but Curzon need not have worried, for three minutes into the second period came another present.
Sabo kicked thin air in meeting a routine cross from the right, leaving Stott with a simple stab past Kennedy for the third.
Cribley had a goal disallowed for offside and a late strike from new signing Nicky Travis was deflected behind but, on the day, Matlock were well beaten.
Most disappointingly of all, they contributed so much to their own downfall and they now have five matches left, starting at Barwell on Saturday, to make sure of their Premier Division survival.
MATLOCK TOWN: Kennedy, Harcourt, Radford, Meade (Travis, 57), Sabo (Yates, 71), Banton, Cribley, Needham, McDonagh, Khan, McManus (Holland, 57). Other subs: Maxfield, Gaughan.
CURZON ASHTON: Burton, Rowney, Thornton, Hunt (Pugh, 75), Shaw, Brown, Wright (Brooke, 46), Walker, Cummins (Fitzgerald, 79), Stott, Guest. Other subs: Horrocks, Souvemanien.
REFEREE: J Clark (Walsall).