Aylesbury FC grabbed their first league win in over a month on Saturday when a penalty in each half settled a scrappy affair with fellow strugglers Histon.
FC came into the game on the back of six straight defeats, a run which has seen them plummet down Division One Central, but that slide was halted with this timely 2-1 win against bottom side Histon, who finished Saturday’s game with nine men.
During the past two weeks Daniel Gordon and his management team have re-jigged the squad in an attempt to arrest their alarming slump.
Making their debuts on Saturday were striker Jamie West and midfielder Alex O’Brien, while Frankie Baigent, a dual signing from Gloucester, made the bench.
With both sides in the bottom four and in poor form, this was always going to be a game of attrition and so it proved.
FC made the better start and the first chance came on eight minutes when Josh Bamford received the ball on the right wing and fired in a cross which found West who could only clip over the bar.
Kai Walters teed up Ty Deacon for another chance but again it was off target, while for Histon, Ben Yeomans sent a half volley well wide.
The best chance of the first-half fell to FC defender Daniel McAteer, who received the ball on the right, cut inside and fired in a shot which was well held by Kalin Artakley.
Two minutes later and FC’s pressure told. Walters, one-on-one with a Histon defender, was felled in the box for a stonewall penalty which Bamford calmly dispatched.
That was enough to hand FC a slender half-time lead, but that advantage was wiped out within six minutes of the restart as a defensive error allowed Matty Allen to chip stranded Aylesbury goalkeeper Kyle Forster and level.
Forster then had to be at his best to prevent Histon from taking a shock lead, but the visitors were to be their own worst enemies in a catastrophic final 15 minutes.
First, defender Max Hall gave away a second penalty for blatant handball, resulting in a deserved red card, and this time it was West who stroked home to put FC back in front.
And things went from bad to worse for Histon in the final moments when Yeomans produced his third poor challenge of the day and, already on a booking, he was sent for an early bath, quashing any thoughts of a late fightback.
Aylesbury, who remain 19th in the table, face Potters Bar Town this weekend.