HALESOWEN Town are staring down the barrel of relegation after getting hammered at survival rivals Lowestoft.

They lost 5-1 on Tuesday night as Jake Reed’s hat-trick for the hosts left the Yeltz nine points adrift of Southern League Central safety.

They now head into the final seven games of the campaign with the visit of Leiston to the Grove this Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Halesowen’s joint-chairman Keith McKenna admits time is running out for the Yeltz after another big set-back.

He said: “It was a really disappointing result for us.

“We got off to the worst start imaginable after a mix-up at the back and never really recovered.

“I did feel for the management team a little because it was just a communication issue in defence but it put us on the back foot from the start.

"The players actually went there in really good spirits on the coach and were determined to get something but then it just hits you even harder.

“We’ve been looking at all the different conundrums in recent weeks and what fixtures we have coming up but all we’ll do now is take it a game at a time and see what we can do.

"We won't look too far ahead or worry about what others are doing.

“There are still 21 points available so anything is possible but it’s just going to be really tough from here.”

However, McKenna insists there is still scope for player/manager Lee Hughes, who netted his side’s only goal of the game at Lowestoft, to guide the club next season regardless of if relegation hits.

“Nothing is off the table at the moment,” he added.

“Lee has the job until the end of the season and has really brought the spirit back to the club and got the players working hard and buying into what he wants to do.

“We’ll just have to see how we get on between now and the end of the season and assess everything again then."