A dismal display on Easter Monday condemned Tigers to a 4-1 beating at the hands of Ilkeston, and all but ended any slim hopes of a play-off finish.
The defeat means Worksop will need at least seven wins from their final eight games to have any chance of a top five place.
Three goals for the visitors in the final 12 minutes saw the points return to Derbyshire, but in truth Ilkeston were better for much of the game.
Tigers were almost ahead inside 60 seconds as Craig King released Leon Mettam and his cross was just flicked out of the path of Tom Denton by Ryan Wilson.
Seconds later Ryan Clarke sent the ball to the near post and Denton’s header seemed destined for the bottom corner, until Chris Martin saved.
Their bright was rewarded on six minutes when King’s clearance was nodded down by Denton, Ash Burbeary played it through for Mettam and the striker controlled and finished well under Martin.
Ilkeston’s first real chance came from a James Reid free-kick on the edge of the box, but he fired just past the post.
Former Tiger Jack Watts brought a smart stop from Paul Bastock, driving into the box and unleashing a fierce effort that the keeper palmed round the post.
But the home side’s achilles’ heel – defending set pieces – came back to haunt them once again, Watts’ corner headed home at the near post by Aaron Hooton.
After a shaky few minutes Worksop reestablished their foothold, Matt Young with two efforts, the second a wild half volley that soared over.
Before the break a lovely dinked ball from Mettam found Burbeary in the box, but the winger couldn’t get anything on his header.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half were a drab affair, with only the introduction of Cecil Nyoni for Worksop and Gary Ricketts for Ilkeston breaking the tedium.
Worksop had a shout for a penalty when Steve Towers’ shot hit Joe Maguire’s hand in the area, but the referee ruled it ball to hand.
The visitors were growing in confidence and a corner to the back post found a completely unmarked Laurie Wilson, who headed straight at Bastock.
But there was nothing the Tigers stopper could do when a well worked move ended in a smart shot from Ricketts that crept inside the far post.
With nine minutes remaining it was game over as Ricketts played in Kane Richards and the Ilkeston striker outpaced Stuart Ludlam before finishing beautifully.
And to rub salt into the wound, Reid stormed away down the left and fired an unstoppable shot past Bastock at his near post.