A POOR second-half performance saw Old Southendian surrender a half-time lead and slip to a 5-2 home defeat to Ford.
It left them five points from safety in East Division One, and they will look to boost their survival hopes with a good response at Felixstowe on Saturday.
In an evenly contested first half against Ford, conversions from short corners made the difference.
Ford were the first to strike, powerfully driving in their first set piece of the game.
Undeterred, Old Southendian then won and converted their opening short corner, with Tim Robinson expertly tipping Calvin Beetar’s drag flick over the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.
Excellent defending from Rob Smithson ensured that the scores remained level, as he saved a shot on the line when a goal seemed inevitable.
And the hosts were buoyant shortly before half time, with a text book one-two to Dave Catchpole from a short corner seeing him add to his prolific tally for the season and put the Old Boys ahead.
But they were their own worst enemy in the second half, with a loss of concentration and a drop in work rate putting them on the back foot.
A softly-conceded short corner was duly dispatched via a flick into the top corner to bring the scores level, and then ill-discipline from both teams then saw three yellow cards awarded in quick succession. The Old Boys were unable to capitalise on their numerical advantage, and instead Ford took advantage of some loose defending to re-take the lead.
Ford then stretched their lead from their next short corner, blasting in a shot from their right slip striker.
A further yellow card apiece were awarded somewhat officiously as the game entered the final 10 minutes.
Old Southendian created chances to narrow the deficit, but Ford capatalised on their numerical advantage upfront to convert a fifth goal in the final minute, condemning the Old Boys to the latest in a succession of disappointing home defeats.