Early and late goals secured Rainworth Miners’ Welfare’s crucial 2-0 home victory over local rivals Worksop Town as the Wrens edged closer to safety.
Rainworth, boosted by a first win in four matches, are seven points clear of the Northern Counties East League Premier Division relegation zone with five matches remaining.
For 25 minutes it was a display full of encouragement, with the Wrens taking the game to Worksop.
They started on the front foot with slick passing football and were rewarded in the eighth minute when Matt Harris headed home Matt Sykes’s free-kick.
The lead was almost doubled four minutes later when, after a fine passage of play, Declan Brewin hit his effort straight at keeper Jon Kennedy.
The home side had a lucky escape on 17 minutes when Kyle Jordan’s cross was narrowly missed by Jack Hawkins.
At the other end Worksop twice had Kennedy to thank as he just beat Brewin to balls that would have put the game out of the visitors’ reach.
That signalled the end of Rainworth’s dominance as the game became more fragmented.
Ben Townsend’s quick reactions prevented Worksop making more of a quick break in the 38th minute.
Two minutes later Jordan almost got through, but was thwarted by Jake Adlington at the expense of a corner.
Rainworth should have doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Kennedy failed to hold Sykes’s free-kick, but Ryan Herbert hit the rebound over.
They were nearly made to rue that miss when Hawkins headed Jack Waddle’s cross into the side netting.
An excellent save by Townsend denied Jordan Hodder an equaliser as Rainworth struggled against intense Worksop pressure.
Worksop were again thwarted by Townsend, who put Waddle’s shot-cum-cross around the post in the 67th minute.
Former Wren Steve Wankiewicz’s effort was then directed straight at Townsend.
The game turned in Rainworth’s favour, however, in the 80th minute when Herbert won a tackle in midfield.
He set up Brewin, who coolly put the ball into the far corner out of the reach of the advancing keeper.
In the final minutes, Tomas Poole’s effort was well saved by Kennedy.