Simon Wormull is staying to try and help keep Crawley in the Conference.

Wormull has turned down offers from two other Conference sides, claiming it would it be hard to walk away from his home town club in their current plight.

Defeat against Sammy McIlroy's play-off chasers and results elsewhere means there is now a four point gap between Reds and third-from-bottom Tamworth.

And this dispiriting display proved two things. Crawley have an awful lot to do if they are to avoid the drop after just two seasons at this level while John Hollins' honeymoon period in the hot-seat is well and truly over.

Hollins made his views known in the inquest which followed a third successive league defeat and then the players had their own heart-to-heart before Wormull emerged to declare: "The situation is worrying, but we'll be all right."

He added: "We have to start digging in and getting back to what we were doing when John first came here.

"Confidence is lacking a bit. It took a knock when we lost to Hereford last week after playing so well but it's up to us to get it back again.

"There's no use us getting at each other, we've got to get on and think about the 17 games we have left and making sure we win enough of them, especially against the teams around us."

Wormull was given permission to speak to other clubs after the contract offer which was made to him when he was in charge before Hollins' arrival was withdrawn earlier this month.

Two un-named clubs came in for him but it would have meant moving from Sussex which he was not prepared to do.

He said: "The situation we're in makes it hard to walk away. All I want to do is concentrate on my football and get back to the way I was playing because I've not been happy with my recent performances.

"I will hang on until the summer and, hopefully, something will get sorted out."

Not many of the 1,253 fans at the Broadfield Stadium on Saturday would be prepared to bet that their side will still be playing at this level by then, based on the latest evidence.

And the majority would no doubt have been surprised by Hollins' decision to stick Wormull on the right-hand side instead of his favourite position in the centre of midfield where he has always done his best work in a Crawley shirt.

Wormull was a peripheral figure, though he was not alone in that respect, until he was withdrawn on the hour just after Stuart Barlow's second goal in six minutes had put Morecambe in the driving seat.

"I'll do a job anywhere," insisted Wormull.

"I've played there before but I would prefer to be in the middle because you are more involved and in our situation I want to be on the ball and trying to create something."

Hollins said he was still trying to freshen up his squad before tomorrow's transfer deadline but it looks as if he will have to try and keep Crawley up with the current squad.

At least they are all available for selection now and Hollins remains convinced they are good enough to climb away from trouble.

"I will work with what I've got and I will get the best out of them and I think we will stay in this division with this squad," he declared.

"We still have the same belief but sometimes things have to get worse before they get better."

Crawley fans, who did not take long to voice their displeasure at what they were seeing, must hope this is as bad as it gets.

Their makeshift defence conceded three soft goals while the lack of creativity must have alarmed Hollins almost as much as the mistakes they made at the back.

Daryl Clare scored his ninth goal of the season but he was increasingly forced to come deep or go wide to try and create some danger because of the lack of service from midfield areas.

With Ben Judge suffering from flu, Hollins was forced to re-jig his back four and for 50 minutes they coped comfortably with Barlow and the more robust Wayne Curtis.

The first half was not much of an advert for this level although a gusting wind and awful pitch were hardly conducive to passing football. At half-time you could not see any other outcome except a dreary stalemate.

Hollins would probably have settled for that. Instead, Barlow was able to rise unchallenged between Ian Simpemba and Dave Woozley to meet David Perkins' left-wing cross on 50 minutes.

He still had a lot to do but did it with aplomb, guiding a header inside Phil Smith's right-hand post.

In their next attack Smith bravely denied Michael Twiss after Barlow had unselfishly teed him up in the six-yard box but still Crawley did not learn their lesson.

In their next attack Barlow outpaced Simpemba after latching on to Twiss's through ball before producing another expert finish.

Referee Fred Graham threw Crawley a lifeline 15 minutes from time when he awarded a penalty after Chris Giles was pushed by Jim Bentley and Clare scored his ninth goal of the season.

But within three minutes Perkins waltzed through another big gap in the heart of Crawley's defence to beat Smith and make the game safe.

To make matters worse, Reds played the last nine minutes with ten men after Danny Brown, who had done a solid job trying to negate Twiss's influence on proceedings, limped off with an ankle injury.

Crawley's situation is not desperate yet but it is getting that way.