A solitary Darren Boswell goal helped Horsham put the Premier Division title race back in their own hands on Saturday.
The Hornets secured a hard-fought three points with a 1-0 victory over strugglers Worthing United, but it was results elsewhere that made the day.
A shock 1-0 victory for Wick & Barnham United over league leaders Eastbourne Town saw Dominic Di Paola’s side move two points behind the front runners with a game in hand.
It means Horsham’s fate is once again in their own hands with six games left to play.
The home side dominated for large periods of the clash at Gorings Mead, but it was the hosts who went closest early on as Aaron Tugnutt and Owen Callaghan both blazed over the bar.
Horsham were without suspended skipper Joe Shelley, but the dual-signed Jordan Clark was back in Di Paola’s ranks rather than featuring for Ryman League outfit Worthing.
The only goal of the game came on five minutes as passes between Alex Duncan, Kieron Pamment and Terry Dodd saw the latter slip in Boswell, who skipped around the defence and slotted home.
Dodd almost created a second on 15 minutes as he put away Boswell, but the winger struck straight at the United stopper.
Dodd’s looping effort let was then palmed away by Matt Evans in the Worthing goal and Mark Knee again picked out Dodd, but he somehow blasted over from close range.
The second half took a while to get going and the first chance came on 56 minutes as a quick Pamment free-kick saw Boswell’s stinging shot again parried.
United’s best chance to draw level came just past the hour mark as Callum Clarke set up Callaghan in space, but he inexplicably tripped over the ball when trying to shoot, moments later, Clarke then put the ball straight into a grateful James Shaw’s arms.
Ryan Storrie could have put the game to bed after beating Dan Rahaman and whipping a superb ball across the face of goal.
As the rain continued to fall as did the quality as both teams struggled to find any real fluidity on a tricky surface, but Horsham held out for a crucial three points ahead of Monday’s derby with Horsham YMCA.
Horsham: Shaw, Duncan, Farmer, Jones, Knee, Storrie, Boswell (Atkinson), Clark (Lewis), Hunt, Pamment (Smith), Dodd. Unused subs: Block, Chadwick.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!