Oxford City recorded a vital win in their quest to secure survival in the National League South as they ran out 2-1 winners at home to Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.
Two quick-fire goals at the start of the second half – an own-goal and a Matt Paterson penalty – set City on their way.
Yemi Odubade’s 86th minute strike for Eastbourne set up a nervy ending but the Hoops managed to hold on.
Sam Nombe and Rob Sinclair went close for the Hoops early on but the home side nearly fell behind when the unmarked Matt Pickering fired narrowly wide for the Sports.
The vital first goal came on 54 minutes when a Nombe cross deflected off Pickering for the Oxford opener.
City wasted no time in trying to add to their lead and were given a superb opportunity to do so as they were awarded a penalty just four minutes later. Nombe was fouled and Paterson did the honours from 12 yards.
Odubade smashed home late on for the visitors but they could not find an equaliser.
The win leaves Oxford 17th, three places but a distant 12 points clear of Poole Town in 20th, the last relegation spot.
Manager Mark Jones said: “We needed to get over the line and get that win I was talking about over the last couple of weeks.
“We just about deserved it, it wasn’t one of our best performances of the season, but we still created plenty of chances. There were many times this season where we’ve come off and thought we deserved something better.
“The main objective on Saturday was to win the game, which we did, and it would take something extraordinary now for us not to keep our place in the National League South.”
City were due to play Wealdstone last night (Wednesday) after we went to press. Jones suggested there were some tired legs in the camp and that he could rotate his squad to freshen things up.
Frankie Musonda was ruled out through injury after picking up a knock against Eastbourne and Eddie Jones was suspended.
The Hoops travel to mid-table Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.