The U's fell to a 3-1 defeat at Meadow Lane on Saturday as two late goals ensured that our quest for mathematical safety in League One rolls over to Tuesday night.
Having fallen behind, the U's scored the best goal of the game to draw things level just before the break, but they were unable to build on that in the second half as they were beaten by the Magpies.
Scunthorpe drew at home to Bury to narrow the gap to five points with three games to go - both teams play on Tuesday night as the battle for League One survival continues.
The U’s made two changes to their starting eleven, with Bradley Garmston coming in for Josh Thompson and John White retaining his place at centre half, whilst Andy Bond came in for Billy Cliffford.
Meanwhile, the bench saw George Porter and Freddie Sears return after their absences through suspension and injury respectively.
The game was tentative in the early stages, but the U’s were given a series of free kicks to give them the early territorial advantage.
There was not much in the way of clear cut chances in the first fifteen minutes, but Drey Wright nicked the ball off his man before firing in a low shot that forced a great save out of the keeper.
The U’s should have scored from the resultant corner kick. It was drifted into the six yard box and Ibehre had a free header on his own, but could only lift his effort over the bar.
The Magpies responded in kind, Campbell-Ryce drifting in off the wing to fire in a shot that was probably always just going wide, but had Walker at full stretch to try and ensure it didn’t go in.
And Ibehre’s miss became more important on 20 minutes as the Thompson got in down the right hand side and the cross was missed by the first man in the middle, before Hughes slid it home despite the efforts of Walker.
Walker did much better on 27 minutes as a free kick was drifted into the box and, from close range, Waite flicked the ball towards goal, forcing a great reaction save.
The U’s were second best after the Magpies had taken the lead, but they dragged themselves level on 38 minutes with the best move of the match.
Patient play left to right and back again saw Wright and Bond combine with fine one two on the edge of the box to get the midfielder to the byline.
He sent a great low cross across the six yard box and Ibehre bundled the ball into the box to atone for his earlier miss.
David Wright took a heavy blow in a tackle just on the halfway line and the stretcher was straight on for the U’s man. After nearly ten minutes of treatment, he was taken off the pitch to warm applause from both teams.
The U’s started the second half brightly, but clear cut chances were at a premium for both teams, with Wright’s half volley on the edge of the box the main effort to test home keeper Bialkowski.
The County keeper was then tested by a Garmston free kick that was curled into the far post as the U’s had the better of the middle part of the second half.
The U’s made two changes with seventeen to go, Sears and Porter coming on for Drey Wright and Morrison.
The visitors took the lead not long afterwards, though, as Arquin rose highest at a corner to nod home over the head of Massey on the far post.
As the clock ran down, the home side were on top, as the U's tried to hit them on the counter attack.
But the game was done and dusted as Nangle was slotted in at the near post and he passed the ball under Walker to make the scoreline 3-1.
All attentions turn to Tuesday night now.