Aylesbury United claimed an invaluable three points on Tuesday when a gritty 1-0 win at relegation rivals Hanwell Town further distanced themselves from the Division One Central drop zone.
With Leighton Town only drawing on the same night, the Ducks are now four clear of trouble and level on points with Hanwell having played a game less.
This was their first back-to-back league win of the season, and on the occasion of captain Jack Wood’s 300th club appearance, it was fittingly built on an unyielding defensive display so typical of his style.
Hanwell spent most of the second 45 minutes camped in Aylesbury’s half, yet whilst there were many superb defensive blocks and interceptions, Zaki Oualah didn’t have a serious save to make.
His opposite number, however, was called into action as early as the sixth minute when a Jake Bewley long shot looped up off a defender before bouncing up awkwardly and having to be tipped over the bar by Martin Herdman.
Vinnie Shrieves should have opened the scoring for United midway through the first half when he got on the end of Shaun Owens’s searching free kick delivery, but instead headed wide from close range.
No matter, Aylesbury would not be denied a half-time lead when Bewley whipped in an inswinging corner which, to some observers, looked to have gone straight into the net, but did in fact nick offJoe Chandiram at the near post for an own goal.
Both sides had half chances prior to the break but United kept their slender lead intact before Hanwell’s second half dominance began.
Greg Williams produced the first of many defensive interceptions, heading clear a dangerous cross, before Connor Duffy shot straight at Oualah, however it was at the other end where the best save of the half arrived as Martin Herdman tipped wide Bruno Brito’s fierce shot.
The Hanwell pressure steadily built and built as Reece Cameron, Chris Crook, Jack Wood, Ricky Brown and Bewley were all involved making heroic blocks of various nature with Aylesbury repeatedly denying Town any shooting opportunities.
Once the six minutes of injury time had finally come to an end, United were at last able to celebrate another priceless win.
The Ducks are at Petersfield this weekend.