WYCOMBE'S hopes of surviving the drop were left hanging by a thread after a dismal performance at relegation rivals Chesterfield.
Wanderers' dire showing against the Spirerites matched the miserable weather and, in a game they dared not lose, they capitulated.
Defeat keeps them four points clear of safety but the manner of the defeat did little to inspire hopes that Wanderers can pick up any points against Charlton, Notts County and Sheffield Wednesday in their final games of the season.
That just leaves a home game against Oldham next weekend but a win against the Latics would still not be enough to get them out of the dropzone.
Wycombe flew out of the blocks at the b2net with Spirerites stopper Tommy Lee forced to rush off his line to deny Chris Hackett and Stuart Beavon and Craig Eastmond both firing wide in the opening five minutes.
But the heavens well and truly opened in Derbyshire making conditions difficult for both sides but it was Chesterfield who dealt with them better in the first-half with home forward Alex Mendy scuffing his 12-yard shot into the arms of Blues stopper Nikki Bull on 17 minutes.
The pouring rain made players edgy on the ball and unable to dictate play with Eastmond seeing a low shot blocked but it was the Spirerites who carved open a better chance on 25 minutes.
It came from a right-sided cross which saw Mendy climb highest but send his header high over the bar.
The home side had been getting a greater grip on the game and took the lead three minutes later when Wycombe failed to clear a corner and top scorer Craig Westcarr was able to tap in his 11 th of the season from a yard out.
It was a deserved goal for Chesterfield who played with the urgency you would expect from a team who could have ended the day relegated.
The same could not be said for Wycombe who laboured in the rain and failed to create a real chance of note before the break.
And they shot themselves in the foot early in the second.
Centre-back Gary Doherty had found himself in a position to try a toe-poke towards goal moments after the restart but it was Chesterfield who struck the all-important second goal through a low Franck Moussa drive on 47 minutes.
And it got even worse as Wycombe's pathetic collapse was complete five minutes later when Mendy was allowed to run unchallenged and curl in a third.
This was against a side who had not scored more than once on their own patch since November 5.
Blues boss Gary Waddock had nothing to lose and threw on teenage Matt McClure and the striker came close to reducing the deficit with a flashing shot wide of the post.
But there was no quality up front for Wanderers who posed no questions for an equally brittle Chesterfield defence to answer and looked resigned to their fate of an immediate return to League Two.
And their miserable afternoon was complete when Jordan Bowery was allowed to rifle a fourth goal into the bottom corner with 11 minutes to play.
Only a miracle can save them now.
CHESTERFIELD: Lee, Talbot, Thompson, Ford (Smith 85), Ridehalgh, Juan, Randall, Moussa, Mendy, Bowery, Westcarr (Boden 46).
Subs (not used): Allott, Whitaker, Ajose.
Booked: Bowery (73 mins).
WANDERERS: Bull, McCoy (McClure 62), Doherty, Stewart (Johnson 42), Basey, Eastmond, Lewis, Bloomfield, Hackett (Ainsworth 58), Strevens, Beavon.
Subs (not used): Laing, McNamee.