Horsham once again showed their promotion credentials as they lifted all three points from runaway league leaders London Edwardians.
Two Jack Dean penalties, excellent defending and the return of coach Dom Male made it a memorable trip to Battersea.
Horsham still sit third in the table but, having also taken three points from second-placed Tulse Hill last week, the promotion race has been shaken up.
All eyes will now be on Saturday’s London Edwardians versus Tulse Hill top-of-the-table clash in south London, while Horsham host Marlow.
This was a cagey event but a full Horsham squad always seemed to have the greater appetite.
Overall there were few chances, but Horsham passed well and opened the scoring when Dean was fouled in front of goal and the talisman calmly converted the penalty.
Horsham held the advantage until 10 minutes into the second half when the home side scored from a short corner.
With both teams scrapping hard Horsham lost Atkinson to a yellow with eight minutes remaining on the clock.
Seconds later Noah Chinn was also shown yellow in somewhat dubious circumstances.
Down to nine men Horsham dug in and, as Edwardians pressed, Male spotted a gap and fed Dean far upfield.
Dean beat one defender, rounded the keeper and slipped left to Male who had raced the length of the pitch to the penalty spot.
Male was clear in font of goal but a flailing stick gave him no chance.
The umpire blew for the penalty which Dean slotted with composure. In a tense final period Horsham’s defence held firm and Isaacs made some critical saves.
Buoyant team manager Al Campbell said: ‘We’ve only lost one game since the first week of November.
“It’s a cliché but the important thing is not to get overconfident, take the season one game at a time, and win our remaining seven fixtures.”
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!