A Tom Hughes header six minutes from time saw Horsham secure a hardworking and vital 2-1 win over Sussex rivals East Grinstead on Wednesday night.
Fresh from the disappointment of a failed planning application for a new ground at Hop Oast 24 hours earlier, the Hornets did their talking on the pitch to give the club something to celebrate.
Former Redhill centre-back Jack Hope made his debut for the injured Lewis Hamilton at left-back, as the retuning Hughes started at the back, with Tom Gilbert slotting back into his normal role alongside him.
Richie Welch started in place of Oli Lockyer and Bailo Camara partnered Trevor McCreadie in attack, while there was a place on the bench for Horsham’s newest recruit Ehis Izokun, who joined the club earlier in the day from Sittingbourne.
Camara had the best chance on 11 minutes as a George Branford cross was flicked on by McCreadie, but the striker’s poor touch allowed Damos Horvath time to collect.
East Grinstead took the lead two minutes later as Michael Campbell stroked past Gareth Williams after good work from Emiliano Hysi.
The visitors went close to extending their lead as Kristian Campbell fired wide, Gilbert put in a goal-saving tackle and Williams saved from Kareem Boyle.
McCreadie, however, opened his latest account after rejoining the club on 32 minutes as a poor kick from Horvath fell to Branford and he teed up the striker to level.
Tom Vickers then headed just over the bar from a corner, before on the stroke of half-time, Tony Nwachukwu’s cross was put against his own post by Kristian Campbell before being cleared.
Horvath pushed away a McCreadie effort after the break which almost fell to Nwachukwu but went behind.
Williams spared Hughes’ blushes at the other end of the pitch when the centre-half’s air shot put Stefan Joseph through, but the goalkeeper was quickly off his line to block at the substitute’s feet.
Wasps substitute Stefan Josep’s shot was pushed over the bar by Williams, before the visitors had penalty shouts waved away when Williams took the ball off the toes of Michael Campbell from Steve Sargent’s pass.
The Waps man then had a goal ruled out for offside, before Horsham pinched a vital three points with four minutes left.
Hughes headed home a Izokun corner which just crossed the line despite a strong hand from Horvath.
East Grinstead had Joseph sent off for a second booking in stoppage time as the Hornets saw out for their sixth win of the season that leaves them two points behind Ramsgate.
Horsham: Williams, Page, Gilbert, Hughes, Hope, Welch (Otobe 74), Branford, Vickers, Nwachukwu, McCreadie (Berry 88), Camara (Izokun 68). Unused subs: Akande, Smith.