Holwell Sports returned from fellow strugglers Long Buckby with an important win which went a long way to improving their United Counties League security.
The three points lifted Holwell above Saturday’s opponents into 16th, four points clear of third-bottom Raunds who have just two games left, and six points clear of second-bottom Huntingdon.
Showing determination from the off it was the visitors who had most of the play in the early stages as their neat passing play created space for O’Grady and Matangi up front to get at Buckby’s back four.
After pegging the hosts back and winning a series of early corners, the pressure paid off in the 10th minute when Luke Peberdy stabbed the ball through a crowded six-yard box for 1-0 following yet another Michael Stevenson corner.
But as Holwell pushed up on the attack, the speedy Buckby wingers remained a threat on the break, particularly Alex Webb on the left who was well chaperoned by Matt Hendey.
And it was while pressing for a second that the hosts equalised.
The Buckby keeper held yet anther corner from the right and his distribution was good out to Banton on the left.
He took the ball down the wing before breaking into the box and sending a ball across the six-yard line where Webb tapped in at the back post.
Both defences looked strong, but Holwell had Ben Challis to thank for keeping them level at half-time after a great save low to his right-hand post.
Holwell still edged the game as the second half began, but had to be wary of the hosts who were getting through and wasting decent opportunities.
The visitors continued their passing game and forced further corners as Shaun Smith began to see more of the ball.
Smith did well down the left, linking with Matangi as Holwell pushed for the second, with Peberdy and Stevenson probing from midfield.
Mo Matangi drew a tremendous save from Buckby’s keeper before the hour as Holwell maintained the pressure.
Manager Neil Miller swapped Hazeldine from midfield to right-back and moved Blair to the right of midfield which diminished Buckby’s threat on the left, while Webb had little change from Hendey and frustrated the home fans with some poor crosses into the box.
Holwell’s persistence paid off on 66 minutes as yet another good Stevenson corner on the right was met on the full by Peberdy for his second to give Holwell back control.
Buckby tried to respond, but woeful finishing and stalwart defending by centre-halves Bitmead and Dunlop denied them as Holwell managed the game well.
Fenwick replaced Blair with 10 minutes left after the youngster had put in a great shift while taking some hard challenges.
And the sub nearly put the icing on the cake with five minutes left as his goalbound attempt was well saved by Boycote.
A good determined win away by Holwell and a welcome three points, while Buckby will rue the missed chances and final ball.
Holwell head to Stamford to meet Blackstones on Saturday, before the big local derby with Melton Town at Welby Road on Easter Monday.
Both matches kick off at 3pm.
Holwell: Challis, Blair (Fenwick), Bitmead, Dunlop, Hendey, Hazeldine, Peberdy, Stevenson, Smith, Matangi, O’Connor.