Lincoln United suffered their eighth defeat in nine matches when they lost 3-0 at Bedworth United in a game where chances were once again squandered.
The result leaves United 17th in the Evo-Stik South League with the prospect of having to face third-place Frickley Athletic at the Sun Hat Villas this Saturday.
The Whites were once again without skipper Phil Watt who is still recovering from an injury received at Alvechurch two weeks’ ago.
Sam Wilkinson’s men had two clear-cut chances in the first 10 minutes.
A Paul Grimes left-footer was well saved by the keeper and a Conner Robinson chip was headed wide by Jack McGovern.
The hosts had to wait until the 16th minute for their first effort, a free-kick that sailed over the bar.
However, five minutes’ later Luke Keen broke clear to cut inside and stroke the ball past United keeper Sam Vince to give his side the lead.
On the half hour mark. Conner Robinson had a golden chance to equalise but he blasted the ball over from 10 yards.
Robinson and Cotton found themselves in the referee’s book before the break.
Striker Jack McGovern missed from close range just after half-time but Bedworth target man Luke Keen doubled the lead five minutes’ later after Vince could only parry his first effort.
The Ashby Avenue outfit dominated play for the next 20 minutes but could not penetrate the stubborn Bedworth defence.
Cotton hit the bar and a Blunden header was cleared off the line.
The home side sealed a comfortable victory when Baily-Nicholls made it 3-0 just before the final whistle.