Top scorer Matt Paterson helped Oxford City get over Saturday’s FA Cup disappointment by grabbing all three goals in a 3-1 win against Truro City on Tuesday.
The hat-trick hero netted his 11th, 12th and 13th goals of the season as the Hoops overcame the National League high-flyers, who could have moved to within a point of the summit with a win.
Instead, City climbed two places to 17th and lifted themselves away from the drop zone.
Striker Paterson gave his side the lead on 18 minutes when he tucked home a rebounded Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain cross.
The lead was doubled on the hour when he connected with a Godfrey Poku through ball to slot home with ease.
Truro pulled one back almost instantly thanks to an Andrew Neal strike but Paterson wrapped up the points with a 93rd minute goal to complete his treble.
The 28-year-old, who claimed the match ball, praised his “on fire” team-mates as the City players put Saturday’s disappointment behind them.
He said: “Since the Colchester game [1-0 win in the FA Cup first round] confidence has risen through the squad and the lads started to believe in themselves a lot more.
“We’ve got a lot of good players here, it’s just trying to get the best out of them and maybe it just took us time to gel.”
City, three points above the division’s trapdoor, visit seventh-placed St Albans City on Saturday.