Groningen missed the chance to go seventh after suffering a surprisingly heavy 4-0 defeat at lowly NEC Nijmegen.
Goals from Leroy George and Lasse Schone set NEC on their way at the Goffertstadion.
George added his second on the hour before John Goossens fired home for an expected triumph for NEC - who now move up to 12th.
NAC Breda grabbed a crucial 4-0 win over fellow struggles ADO Den Haag.
Goals from Santi Kolk and Kees Luijckx put Breda ahead at the break and in control.
Kolk grabbed his second on the hour before Eric Botteghin fired home late on to seal a comprehensive win, which lifts then above Den Haag, who now find themselves one place above the drop-zone.
Third from bottom VVV Venlo moved to within two points of safety after a 3-1 win over Heracles.
Uche Nwofor and Yannick Wildschut put them 2-0 up after half-an-hour, but Lerin Duarte gave Heracles some hope on the stroke of half-time.
But Robert Cullen, who has been targeted by Northern Ireland, sealed the win in stoppage time.
De Graafschap moved off the bottom of the table after a shock 2-0 win at Roda.
A goal in each half from Rydell Poepon and Soufian El Hassnaoui was enough for the struggles to move above Excelsior.