Hyde FC have won their first league match of the season on the 28th attempt, defeating Welling United 2-0 at Park View Road.
The Skrill Premier’s basement club, who also held Southport to a 1-1 draw three days earlier, have more than doubled their total points tally for the season over the last two games.
Manager Scott McNiven was full of praise for his players resolve after they claimed they tasted success in a league match for the first time since the 9th April 2013.
“It feels great,” McNiven, 35, told BBC Radio Manchester. “It’s nice that they players have got a reward for all the hard work they’ve put in this season.”
Second-half goals from Louis Almond and Connor Hughes helped the Tigers narrowly avoided equalling AFC Telford’s Conference Premier record of 30 league matches without a win, which was set last season.
Hyde, whose last victory came against Ebbsfleet, a 1-0 success over nine months ago, are still 19 points adrift of safety with only 18 matches to play, but at least gave their loyal supporters something to celebrate after a dire sequence of results.
McNiven did not allow himself to believe the game was won until the final whistle blew "because we've had some close calls this year" and there had been games where Hyde had "come off scratching our heads thinking 'how have we lost that?'
He added: “We've scored in the last minute and then the other team have gone up the other end and scored. You can never say never with us, unfortunately.
“But the changing room is always good and the training has always been good. Obviously confidence has taken a hit, as you would expect with any bad run.
Hyde face Forest Green Rovers on Saturday, where they will be looking to avenge the 8-0 hammering they suffered on the opening day of the season.
“I'm just delighted about last night and I'm not really thinking about Saturday yet,” said McNiven, in his second season as manager at Ewen Fields.
“If the lads can show the same performances that they have in the last two games, we can try to get as many points as we can between now and the end of the season.”
Kidderminster Harriers face a trip to the Stadium of Light and Premier League Sunderland after they stunned League One Peterborough in the FA Cup.
Joe Lolley netted the visitors winner in a 3-2 win, in what proved to be his final match for the Harriers before a move to Championship side Huddersfield Town.
Tommy Rowe gave Posh a first-half advantage before Michael Gash levelled proceedings with a headed goal shortly after the re-start. Mark Little hit the post for the home side before Jack Byrne swept the underdogs in front.
Britt Assombalonga levelled from the penalty spot, but within two minutes Kidderminster were ahead once again, with 21-year-old forward Lolley driving the ball past the despairing dive of Robert Olejnik.
Kidderminster's first away win in seven games was also a second successive victory for new manager Andy Thorn, sacked by Coventry City in 2012. Thorn, 47, took over following Steve Burr's sacking by the Conference Premier side just three days after forcing Peterborough to a replay with a 0-0 draw at Aggborough.
Macclesfield Town were not so luck as they crashed out of the competition following a 4-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. Although it’s worth noting that three of the Championship side’s goals came in the final 12 minutes after Scott Boden’s penalty had temporarily cancelled out the host’s opener.
Cambridge United emerged victorious from the clash of, according to league position, the competition’s two best teams, as they overcame Luton Town 1-0 in a replay at Kenilworth Road to advance to the quarter finals of the competition. The first game between the team’s ended in a 2-2 draw.
Elsewhere, North Ferriby United claimed the result of the round as they thrashed Lincoln City 4-0, their third successive Skrill Premier scalp after wins over Woking and Hyde.
Aldershot Town and Grimsby Town both progressed against lower league opposition, as did Tamworth, who needed penalties to see off Chorley. Gosport Borough, Eastleigh and Havant & Waterlooville complete the final eight.
The four quarter-final matches, which are due to take place on Saturday 1st February, see Havant host Aldershot, Cambridge travel to Eastleigh, North Ferriby take on Gosport and Grimsby entertain Tamworth.
Skrill Premier: Top
Outside of their FA Trophy commitments neither Luton Town nor Cambridge United have played a league fixture in almost two weeks, so it’s as you were at the top of the Skrill Premier, with the U’s five points adrift with three games in hand.
Alfreton Town likewise remain in third place, although they have played more games than anyone else in the league. Having lost as many games as Tamworth and more than Chester, who are both in the relegation zone, the Reds are perhaps slightly out of position. However, fans of Nicky Law’s side will point to the fact that no team has won more games than them this year. With only one draw all year and having been involved in 94 goals in their 29 games (46 for, 48 against), they are most definitely an all or nothing team.
Surprisingly, Gateshead find themselves in fourth place and, perhaps even more surprisingly considering their troubles getting fixtures played last season, this is again partly down to the fact that they have played more games than those around them. The Tynesiders have lost juts won of their last ten matches, and that against Luton, with five wins and four draws completing a fine run that dates back to mid-November.
Kidderminster Harriers complete the top five after a 3-0 victory over Salisbury City in Thorn’s first game in charge. Grimsby Town, Halifax Town and Barnet are all within one win of the playoff places.
Skrill Premier: Bottom
Hyde’s first win of the year has seemingly served little other purpose than to delay their inevitable relegation. Even if they were to win all their remaining league matches they would only finish with 61 points, a total that would have only earned them thirteenth place at the end of last season.
Dartford too look doomed, although they did end a run of ten straight defeats with a point against Welling. It was the first time the Darts had avoided defeat since a 4-3 victory over Hyde in October.
Other than Hyde, Woking are the only team in the bottom half of the table to have tasted victory in the last week, with a 1-0 success over Braintree Town courtesy of Joe McNerney’s winning goal making it six wins in eight games for the Cards, who are now eight points clear of the bottom four.
Elsewhere in Non-League
Bromley’s fine run of result came to a shock end as their Skrill South promotion charge was halted by a 2-1 defeat to Concord Rangers. Second-place Eastleigh, who have not played a league game this year, are now 11 points adrift with four games in hand.
Ebbsfleet United, Sutton United and Bishop’s Stortford complete the top five although Staines Town are currently only missing out on the top five on goal difference. Tonbridge Angels, Gosport Borough and Dorchester Town make up the bottom three.
North Ferriby United remain on course for an outstanding season as they, in addition to their FA Trophy exploits, top Skrill North by two points from second place Hednesford Town. AFC Telford, Altringham and Solihull Moors are also breathing down the league leader’s necks while Brackley Town and Boston United remain within one win of the top five in a congested league table.
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