Andy Forbes and Jamie Brown gave Gosport Borough a ‘massive lift’ as they netted a 2-0 Skrill South victory at Tonbridge Angels last night.
The Privett Park outfit were back in action just 48 hours after their heartbreaking FA Trophy final defeat to Cambridge United at Wembley.
And with a relegation battle raging, it was crucial they bounced back with a win to leapfrog the Angels out of the drop zone and into 19th position.
After a goalless first period, Forbes stooped home to head Borough into the lead.
They then had two goals ruled out for offside, before substitute Brown – on for Jason Prior – hammered a second home at the death.
Borough boss Alex Pike said: ‘This match was far more important than the trip to Wembley.
‘It was vital we won it and it’s given everyone a massive lift.
‘Tonbridge are a good side – they beat Eastleigh home and away – so we knew it would be tough to get anything.
‘Jason Prior did okay, but once he tired Jamie Brown made the difference and deserved his goal.
‘We left a few players at home to rest before we play Ebbsfleet on Thursday night.
‘And I will be looking for more of the same.’
On-loan Dartford goal-getter Prior – who is making his way back from injury – was named in the Borough line-up for the trip to Kent.
And he got involved quickly, feeding Lee Molyneaux to tee up Rory Williams – but the striker was just beaten to the ball by Angels keeper Lewis Carey.
Carey then saved a fierce free-kick from Justin Bennett at the base of his post, before the Angels countered.
Borough keeper Nathan Ashmore failed to cling on to a Henry Muggeridge cross, but recovered to claim the ball with Mike Bakare ready to pounce.
Mark Lovell headed off target and Luis Cumbers lobbed the ball well wide before the Gosport stopper was in the action again.
Ashmore was a relieved man when, after flapping at another cross, Nathan Pinney shot over the top.
And then he charged out of his area, only to miscue a clearance into the path of Bakare. However, yet again, the home man missed the target.
Fortunately for Ashmore, Borough soon came alive.
Ryan Scott and Sam Pearce went close with headers, before Prior almost tucked in a Danny Smith free-kick.
And just before the interval Bennett fired a shot that Carey did well to turn behind at full stretch.
Five minutes into the second half – after Ashmore had saved from Pinney – Borough snatched the lead as Forbes nodded home a Williams cross.
Brett Poate then came to Borough’s rescue when he managed to clear, with Ashmore on the floor and Cumbers ready to score.
Prior tucked a Bennett cross home, only for the assistant referee to put his flag up.
And after Ashmore denied another Pinney drive, the referee blew for offside again as Forbes netted.
Borough were not to be denied, though.
Ashmore pulled off another great stop to foil Alex Peniola, before Gosport wrapped up the points when Dan Wooden teed up Brown to lash in the second from point-blank range.
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Forbes, Scott, Poate, Pearce, Wooden, Smith, Prior, Bennett, Williams. Subs: Wilde, Brown, Woodward, Richardson, Gosney