Gosport Borough produced a gutsy display to beat Sutton United 3-2 in the Vanarama Conference South at Privett Park last night.
The home side stormed into a two-goal lead in the first half with goals from Matt Paterson and Justin Bennett.
Damien Scammell pulled a goal back early in the second half and Borough had to weather a terrific storm before Dan Wooden clinched the win in the last minute.
Sutton scored from the restart but Borough held on for the points.
Gosport boss Alex Pike praised his side’s quick start to the game and their winning mentallity as the hosts dug deep to edge a ‘blood and thunder encounter’.
He said: ‘Our first-half performance won us the game, setting ourselves up with two goals.
‘Our combination play in and around their area was superb and set up the chances.
‘It was a different complexion in the second half in a real blood and thunder encounter.
‘We had to show a lot of guts and character.
‘The game was a terrific advert for Conference South football.’
Both teams started at a good tempo without creating any clear-cut opportunities in the opening 15 minutes.
Andy Robinson twice made important interceptions on the edge of his area to break up dangerous Sutton attacks.
It was Borough who drew first blood, though, with deadly duo Bennett and Paterson combining to put them ahead.
Wooden threaded a good ball through to Bennett inside the area and his strike was beaten out by goalkeeper Aaron Howe.
But the loose ball fell nicely to Paterson who calmly placed the rebound into the far corner of the net.
Four minutes later Borough struck again with Bennett latching onto a superb through ball from Andy Forbes, before firing low into the bottom far corner of the net.
Almost immediately, Bedsente Gomis rattled the Borough woodwork with a thunderous header.
On the balance of play, though, Borough went in at the break fully deserving their two-goal advantage.
Sutton manager Paul Doswell had his team out on the pitch for most of the interval after their first-half performance.
Michael Spillane blazed over as the visitors showed greater urgency at the start of the second half.
Borough found themselves pinned back and Robinson was again prominent in the heart of the home defence.
Nathan Ashmore had to back-pedal quickly to turn a Gomis looping header over the bar and from the corner Sutton hit the woodwork.
It was no surprise when Sutton pulled a goal back in the 63rd minute through Damien Scammell.
The striker latched onto a long forward ball, got the better of Sam Pearce and coolly curled his shot wide of Ashmore.
Borough were under the cosh and defending for their lives in the final 15 minutes.
Sutton threw everything at Borough but the home side broke away to clinch the win with a last-minute Wooden goal.
There was still time for United to score straight from the restart.
GOSPORT BOROUGH: Ashmore, Forbes, Williams, Allen, Robinson, Pearce, Dunford, Smith, Paterson, Bennett, Wooden. Subs: Ramsey, Wort, Butcher, Saez, Wilde