Sleaford Town ended their four-match losing run with a deserved home win over top six side Northampton Sileby Rangers on Saturday.
The victory for Paul Ward’s men was their first since the Boxing Day derby against Boston Town and kept them in 18th, seven points clear of the Premier Division’s bottom three.
Rangers arrived at Eslaforde Park in fifth place on a run of 12 wins in 14 games and with an attack which had plundered 85 goals already this season.
The game sprang into life early on, with both sides creating early chances.
Luke Stevens went close for Sileby with a good run and shot from left-back, and Brian Farrell had a shot cleared off the line for the visitors after he was played through by Paul Caswell.
But Town were well in the game with Harry Millard twice hitting the side-netting in the opening 10 minutes.
And it was Sleaford who took the lead after 15 minutes, George Asplin unleashing a lovely dipping volley into the top corner.
Just three minutes later, the hosts had doubled their advantage when Tom Siddons’ low shot from outside the box nestled in the bottom corner.
Sileby pushed to get a goal back before half-time and twice went close through Brian Farrell.
First he hit the side-netting, before Town keeper Phil McGann saved his header from Stuart MacMichael’s cross.
The second half was a very scrappy affair as the visitors pushed hard for a way back into the game.
Caswell had the first chance of the half, shooting wide after Michael Byrne’s shot was blocked, while Mark Forbes hit a free-kick over, and McGann was again called into action to keep out Jake Newman’s shot.
Sleaford created a chance to kill off the game when Millard was put through one-on-one, but the striker sliced his shot wide.
Sileby set up a nervous finale for Town when they pulled a goal back with nine minutes left.
Andrew Hall’s free-kick was allowed to bounce in the area and Newman bundled the ball into the back of the net.
But the visitors’ chances were reduced when Hall was shown a straight red card by referee Avison for an off-the-ball incident.
On Saturday, Sleaford travel to Peterborough Northern Star who sit just two places higher and six points better off.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw a few days before Christmas, Siddons with the equaliser. Kick-off is 3pm.