Ellon United find themselves deep in relegation trouble after a scrappy late goal gave fellow strugglers East End a 1-0 home win.
The results puts the Aberdeen side two points ahead of United with a game in hand.
United suffered a pre-match blow when Grant Thomson was called up by his parent club, Fraserburgh, but there can be no excuses for a United side who had already lost at home to their hosts and knew exactly what was required of them on the day.
Ellonplayed down the New Advocates slope in the first half although they had plenty of the ball, far too often they were guilty of trying to be too intricate and played into the home side’s hands as they failed to put them under any sustained pressure and took no advantage of the slope with keeper Bennett never tested.
The home side did not make the same mistake and knocked the ball forward at every opportunity helped by a series of petty free kicks.
By doing this they at least put some pressure on the Ellon defence although they never really looked like getting the better of the United defenders with Callum Steer on his return in goal for United also having a relatively quiet afternoon.
United were forced into a change midway through the second half with Lenny Johnson coming on for Steven Reid after the central defender was injured making an important challenge.
Ellonmade a second change in the 80th minute with Neil Erskine replacing Callum Tremaine. The visitorsdid survive a late scare in the 87th minute but they managed to clear the danger.
Disaster struck for United two minutes into stoppage time. An attempted clearance was knocked back into the box. Steer managed to block the first shot but Hutchin reacted first to bundle the ball home. United did press in the dying moments but were unable to claw back a vital equalisr.
Ellon United: Steer, Millsom, Johnston, Craib, Leahy, Reid (Johnson), Annand, McCauley, Stewart, Tremaine (Erskine), Morrice, Kwiatkowski.
East End: Bennett, McTavish, Coyle, Johnston, Keith, Sutherland, Reid, Smith, Hutchin, Smith, Dunce, Law, Wilson, Thomson, Nacef.
There is no doubt that this was a major setbackfor United who failed to make enough of an impression on the game to put the home side under the pressure needed to cause them any trouble.
United have a break from league business for two weeks starting with a trip to Hermes next Saturday when they will try to get their McBookies.com McLeman Cup Tie played at the third time of asking, a really stiff test against a Hermes side further boosted by their fine 2-1 win over Culter last weekend.