Rory Williams breathed new life into Gosport Borough’s Skrill South survival bid with a hat-trick in their 3-0 win at Staines Town.
Williams struck in the 26th and 35th minutes before sealing a vital win just four minutes into the second half.
The hosts’ misery was complete when they had a player sent off four minutes from time.
Borough remain at the bottom but have closed the gap on 19th-placed Whitehawk to six points with five games in hand.
‘This is a big win for us,’ said assistant manager Mick Catlin.
‘We played ever so well against a good Staines side that have only lost once at home all season.
‘On a good pitch we were able to pass the ball better and scored three cracking goals.
‘We have been done an injustice recently with people suggesting all we can do is hoof the ball forward and park the bus.
‘Our team can also play passing football when conditions allow and we showed that in this game.
‘The three points are important but it also gives us a big confidence boost ahead of another big week.’
Borough forged ahead when Andy Forbes headed on a Sam Pearce free-kick and Williams struck with a stunning volley.
The home side almost levelled when Louie Theophanous nipped in to send a shot bouncing off the upright.
But Williams pounced again when he latched onto a poor clearance to fire home via the underside of the crossbar.
Soon after the restart, Williams completed his hat-trick – cutting in from the left to score with an angled drive. Catlin added: ‘Rory came to us a third of the way through last season when striker Justin Bennett was away.
‘He soon scored goals for us having stepped up from the Wessex League.
‘It has been more difficult for him this season at a higher level again and chances have been few and far between.
‘We pushed him forward in the second half of our Hampshire Senior Cup game against Basingstoke and he scored twice.
‘Now he has added a hat-trick, so it looks like he is finding his scoring touch at just the right time.’
Borough face another busy week with three more games against the Hawks on Tuesday night, Maidenhead United 48 hours later and Weston-super-Mare at the weekend.
Catlin accepts the game against the Hawks at Privett Park is likely to be tough – not least because Borough knocked them out of the FA Trophy.
But he is targeting seven points by the end of the week.
‘The Hawks will be gunning for revenge and they are in good form at the moment,’ said Catlin.
‘They are also pushing for the play-offs and won’t want to slip up at our place again.
‘Maidenhead are down there with us and we have to be looking to beat them and Weston.
‘After this weekend we can approach the week ahead with confidence.’
Gosport Borough: Ashmore, Molyneaux, Forbes, Brown, Richardson, Pearce, Gosney, Scott, Sills, (Carmichael, 62mins), Williams, (Wooden, 57mins), Wilde, (Woodward, 75mins)
Subs not used: Dunford, Barfoot. Att: 231