De Graafschap were condemned to at least a place in the Eredivisie relegation play-offs tonight after losing at home to nine-man Heracles Almelo.
The home side started the weekend second from bottom, 12 points behind 15th-placed NAC Breda, who lost at home to Roda JC last night, with four games to go.
And although their goal difference meant survival was highly unlikely anyway, escaping the bottom three is now an impossibility. Indeed, their focus over the next few weeks will be staving off the threat of automatic relegation which would be the case if they finished bottom - they are currently a point ahead of Excelsior.
They started well against a Heracles side who still harbour ambitions of a Europa League play-off spot, Michael de Leeuw shooting wide when unmarked.
Yuri Rose then nodded over before their pressure finally told after 12 minutes, Rose's header volleyed in by Soufian El Hassnaoui.
El Hassnaoui nearly made it 2-0 three minutes later with a header which came back off the post.
Out of nothing, Heracles equalised after 18 minutes. Tim Breukers' shot was well saved by home keeper by Yves De Winter but Samuel Armenteros was on hand to tap in the rebound.
And De Winter cut a frustrated figure once more when he saved a Ninos Gouriye shot only for the rebound to fall for the 21-year-old to convert.
Heracles added a third seven minutes into the second half. Lerin Duarte whipped in a free-kick and Everton headed in.
Duarte became the first visiting player to see red when he was dismissed for an apparent elbow on De Leeuw and the 10 men were quick to concede when Rydell Poepon was fouled in the box with De Leeuw slotting home the spot-kick.
De Leeuw almost grabbed an equaliser but his initial header was blocked on the line and the follow-up parried clear by visiting keeper Remko Pasveer.
Mark Looms was then dismissed for a second yellow card but the nine men survived a tricky last five minutes.