Sleaford Town overcame the pressures of a must-win game to take all three points against basement side Oadby Town on Saturday.
The 2-0 victory at Eslaforde Park was given extra meaning as it moved Town out of the two relegation places and up to 20th in the United Counties League Premier Division.
With just a quarter of their league programme left, Town moved nine points clear of Oadby and two above second-bottom Northampton Sileby Rangers.
The bottom side have an imposing six games in hand on Sleaford, but have won just one of their 25 games this season, and Sleaford are also within two points of catching St Andrew’s.
Player-manager Jamie Shaw said: “It was a very vital win.
“The match itself wasn’t the greatest of games, but I felt that we were always in control and looked particularly threatening from set pieces.”
Sleaford were ahead within 13 minutes when Ryan Oliver met a Luke Hollingworth corner and sent a bullet header past the Oadby goalkeeper.
And just as Town looked to be heading into the break with just a slender one-goal lead, Michael Hayden made it two in stoppage time, bundling in another Hollingworth corner.”
With the hosts spurning chances to make the game safe, Hayden had a great chance to finally kill the game off when he was brought down while rounding the keeper.
But the Sleaford captain saw his penalty saved.
Yet, Town held their nerve to take the spoils in the relegation dogfight.
“We missed numerous chances to completely wrap the game up,” Shaw added. “But Oadby were unable to cause any serious threat and we saw out the game fairly comfortably.”
Sleaford have further bolstered their attack in recent weeks through the signings of Lincoln United pair Ryan Oliver and Harry Millard on dual registration forms as they look to maintain their Premier Division status.
Town are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Wellingborough Town who sit just three places higher in 17th. Kick-off is 3pm.
Town: Doran, Moyses, Hollingworth, Worthington, Chadwick, Pemberton, Millard, Machin, Hayden, Oliver, Harper.