Horndean crushed Christchurch 3-0 at Five Heads Park to earn some breathing space at the bottom of the Wessex League premier division.
Two early goals set them on their way as they opened up a six-point gap above the relegation zone.
Tom Chapman netted a far-post header before Alex Miroy cut inside to fire a superb 10th-minute shot into the top corner.
Late on, substitute Nathan Paxton was brought down in the area.
Dan Martin’s poor penalty was blocked by the keeper but he knocked in the rebound.
‘It just shows the importance of scoring early because it gave us the confidence boost we needed,’ said Horndean manager Dave Carter.
‘Christchurch came back at us in the latter part of the first half but we kept our shape.
‘It was a superb team performance and I reckon we need to win four or five of our last 11 games to be safe.’
Dave Carter’s side face Wessex division one side United Services at Burnaby Road tonight in the semi-finals of the Portsmouth Senior Cup (7.45pm).
‘Our targets are to retain our Wessex premier status and earn a place against Moneyfields in the cup final at Fratton Park at the end of the season,’ said Carter.
Fareham Town were held to a 1-1 draw against the Oilmen at Fawley.