Carlisle United manager Graham Kavanagh left the field to a chorus of boos after his team's survival chances were left clinging by a thread after a 1-0 home defeat to Oldham Athletic.
A 70th-minute goal from substitute James Dayton was good enough to claim the three points for a Latics side now unbeaten in their last eight games.
Dayton took advantage of some weak tackling to cleverly work an opening and slip the ball past a helpless Cumbrians goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from six yards.
The result left Carlisle four points adrift of safety and requiring victories from their last two matches, away at Crawley Town and Wolverhampton Wanderers, to have any chance of avoiding relegation.
Kavanagh said: "The players tried their hardest and I can't fault their honesty and effort.
"We will have to go again on Tuesday and give a performance that is a bit braver than it was here.
"You need that bravery and coolness and we probably didn't have enough leaders to steady the ship at the right time.
"We huffed and puffed, but it was a nervous performance.
"We have been authors of our own downfall at times, but we have to keep fighting, although it will be difficult to pick the players up.
Kavanagh, facing relegation in his first season as a manager, added: "It's a huge disappointment, but we are looking to end the season well."
Kavanagh brought former Carlisle striker Gary Madine back on loan from Sheffield Wednesday for the crucial run in and said: "He has done well.
"But the fact is we have not invested in a striker for a number of years when you are looking for that man to nick a goal and be in the right place at the right time."
For Oldham manager Lee Johnson the end-of-season performances have lifted his side well clear of the relegation zone when many people thought they would struggle.
He said: "It's been a tough year with many hurdles to get over.
"The fans turned out in their numbers all dressed up and never stopped singing and I'm pleased for the lads, the fans, the chairman and myself."
It could have been a difficult afternoon facing a side fighting for their lives in the division, but Johnson said: "It's kill or be killed and we were favourites for relegation at the end of the day.
"We have overcome several hurdles this year and hope next year will be a lot smoother.
"It's difficult to get a goal against us at the moment. The players we have signed have improved us and there are a lot of positives going forward.
"We've kept five clean sheets out of the last seven games and the boys at the back are well drilled and put their heads and their bodies on the line.
"Carlisle needed to win and I'm pleased with the way we played football.
"We scored a fantastic goal which was given offside just before the winner. We didn't feel it was offside."