Totally shambolic defending cost managerless Barnsley dearly as they were embarrassed at struggling Crawley.
The second post-Danny Wilson era got off to a shameful start as the hosts - with just one victory in 16 games and on the back of a 5-0 thumping by Doncaster in midweek - roared to an easy win at the Broadfield Stadium.
With Mark Burton and Paul Heckingbottom in temporary charge, the confidence-sapped Reds were distinctly second best and whoever takes over in the Oakwell hot seat could now be facing a League One relegation battle.
After finding themselves three behind by the hour mark thanks to Izale McLeod, Sonny Bradley and Marvin Elliott, the Reds at least gave themselves a lifeline with a goal in the 65th minute.
Subs Rhys Oates and Kane Hemmings combined to make it 3-1, with the latter eventually nodding home his fifth goal of the season from point-blank range.
However, just when it looked like there may have been a chink of light for the 419 dedicated travelling Barnsley supporters, another disastrous episode led to a fourth Crawley goal.
This time Lewin Nyatanga was the guiltiest party, totally mis-controlling the ball and subsequently allowing McLeod in to coolly slot home his second goal of the game past a stunned Ross Turnbull.
McLeod completed his hat-trick seven minutes from time. This time Lewis Young tee’d up the central striker, who lashed gleefully into the roof of the net with Turnbull once again left dreadfully exposed.
By this time many of the Barnsley faithful had already left the stadium, surely wondering where their club - and its decision-makers - go from here.
Crawley Town (4-5-1): Price; Young, Ward, Bradley, Dickson; Pogba, Wordsworth, Elliott, Fowler, Edwards; McLeod.
Subs: Dutton, Smith, Morgan, Anderson, Bawling, Tomlin.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Turnbull; Holgate, Nyatanga, Cranie, Smith; Scowen, Pearson, Hourihane, Lalkovic; Lita, Waring.
Subs: Davies, M’voto, Williams, Bailey, Berry, Hemmings, Oates.
Referee: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).