A contentious second-half penalty from Nic Ciardini gave the Hawks a vital 1-0 win over Skrill South play-off rivals Concord Rangers at Westleigh Park.
Most people in the ground were surprised when the referee adjudged Aristide Bassele was pushed inside the area, and Ciardini buried his spot-kick.
Victory leaves the Hawks two points off the play-off places but with two games in hand over fifth-placed Dover Athletic.
Gosport Borough also picked up a crucial win to move further away from the Skrill South drop zone with a 3-1 victory at Eastbourne Borough.
A brace by Justin Bennett and a penalty from Brett Poate were enough for Alex Pike’s side who – like their hosts– finished the game with 10 men, after Tim Sills was sent off in stoppage-time.
Moneyfields suffered a frustrating afternoon in the Wessex League premier division, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Christchurch at Dover Road.
Miles Rutherford’s side – who led through Steve Hutchings’ first-half penalty – missed a second spot-kick, hit the woodwork three times and had two goals ruled out for offside as they failed to break down a resilient visiting defence.
Horndean fell to a second defeat in as many weeks with a controversial 1-0 loss to Folland Sports.
When Nathan Paxton and Jamie Turvey tangled in the Deans’ penalty area, the hosts assumed they had been awarded a free-kick when the referee’s whistle sounded.
But to their bemusement, a spot-kick was awarded and Ryan Long duly settled proceedings.
Meanwhile, Sammy Igoe’s last-gasp penalty earned Bognor three points as they continued their push towards the Ryman League premier play-offs with a 1-0 win over Wingate & Finchley at Nyewood Lane.