Gosport & Fareham boosted their London one south survival chances with a 20-9 derby win over Trojans at Gosport Park.
The win lifts Scott Ashley’s side to within three points of Cobham and Beckenham – and seven points adrift of Havant – with three games remaining.
The home side missed out on a bonus point but their head coach was simply happy to have secured victory.
‘That is the first of our four big games out of the way,’ said Ashley.
‘It is still all to play for and more and more it looks like going to the final game of the season.
‘Although it would have been nice to get a bonus point, I will settle with coming away with the win.
‘If I was brutally honest, it was a scrappy game and Trojans made it difficult for us.’
Gosport & Fareham never looked like losing after establishing a 13-3 lead in the opening 15 minutes. Full-back Tom Lewis knocked over an early penalty before adding the conversion to a try by hooker Andy Burns.
Yellow card fever shortly before half-time saw Trojans reduced to 14 men and Gosport down to 13.
And both teams added a penalty each to leave the hosts 16-6 ahead at the break.
Five minutes into the second period, Trojans reduced the deficit with another penalty.
But any hopes of a Trojans revival were soon killed off in the 56th minute with a try by Gosport & Fareham’s Wayne Dugan, who was returning at centre following a club ban.
‘It was never going to be a pretty game because of the conditions,’ said head coach Ashley.
‘It was cold and wet and Trojans played a clever spoiling game.
‘I think if anything we tried too hard – if you can criticise a team for that.
‘Our penalty count was too high and that was down to us being desperate to get our tackles in.
‘We were a bit over-eager and it killed us at times.
‘Our defence was good, though, and even when we went down to 13 men we didn’t let them through.
‘It showed once again there are no easy games in this league.’