A last minute strike from veteran striker Jefferson Louis secured a dramatic 1-0 win for Oxford City at home to Whitehawk on Saturday.
Just as it looked like City were heading for only their second goalless draw of the season, the 38-year-old target man popped up to all but seal the three points in injury time.
The journeyman, who has been transferred 37 times in his 20-year-long career, was found unmarked in the area by midfielder Scott Davies and lifted the ball over the Hawks’ keeper into the far corner of the net to maintain Mark Jones’ unbeaten home record since taking charge in December.
The two bottom half of the table teams exchanged blows in an entertaining first half that saw both goalkeepers tested.
Unsighted City stopper Craig Hill had to be at his best to push a 30-yard Mike West effort wide, while Louis went closest for the Hoops four minutes before the break when he struck the post when one-on-one.
In complete contrast, the second half was a lot quieter with chances few and far between until Louis’ last-gasp winner.
The victory moves the Hoops 15 points clear of the relegation zone and, with just nine league games remaining, look to be all but safe from relegation, albeit still mathematically possible.
By avoiding defeat, the Hoops extended their unbeaten home record to six league games and Jones praised his players in what he described as an “important” win.
He said: “It was a good win for us today, an important win, which takes us 15 points clear of the relegation zone.
“It was a hard fought game at home, I thought we had the better of the key moments in the first half, without really testing their keeper too much.
“It’s difficult at home on a hard surface, it’s hard to get the ball down and play quickly and a lot of credit needs to go to the players, they kept going, they kept pushing, they kept working.
“Jefferson Louis though came up with a good finish and we’re obviously delighted with the three points, but enormous credit has to be given to the players for their effort, their work rate and their commitment.
“It’s a very big win and a very important win for the club, so I’m really, really pleased.”
The Hoops, 14th in the National League South table, travel to 12th placed East Thurrock United on Saturday and table toppers Maidenhead on Tuesday.