Trevor McCreadie’s 50th minute goal was enough to earn Horsham a 1-0 victory against Merstham and lifted them five points clear of the bottom of the table.
Relegation rivals Walton Casuals and Three Bridges both lost which in conjunction with Hornets’ result put them a long way towards avoiding back-to-back relegations.
Fans gave the players a resounding round of applause as they walked off and such was the joy and satisfaction over the result that you could have been mistaken for thinking Horsham had won the FA Cup.
It was Simon Colbran’s side’s second win in four matches which has also coincided with recent arrival McCreadie’s third goal in four matches.
The Horsham boss made one change to the line-up which drawn 0-0 with Worthing on Easter Monday. Tony Nwachukwu replaced Ray Freeman.
There were few chances on goal in the first half for either side. Jahmahl King headed over the crossbar from an early Horsham corner.
Ryan Marriott tested keeper Osane Brown with a shot which he caught but then fell to the ground and nearly took the ball over the goalline.
At the other end, Merstham rarely threatened, but when they did, powerful attempts on goal were efficiently blocked by keeper Michael Hunter, who denied Joe Holland with a stabbed shot and Karl Akehurst got in the way of an effort by Jack McLeod.
Freeman replaced the injured Billy Dunn after only 26 minutes and just before half-time dragged a shot wide from just outside the six-yard box having been supplied by Nwachukwu.
Horsham made their second substitution at the start of the second half as striker Jamie Ampleford came on for Matt Simpson and Scott Harris switched from central midfield to right back.
McCreadie broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half when he took advantage of stopper Brown missing Nwachukwu’s cross and found the net.
Gary Charman tried to follow-up with a second goal but instead he headed Freeman’s corner over the bar.
Merstham, placed well above the Hornets in 12th place at the start of the match, pushed for an equaliser as Joe Holland, Lee Newman and substitute Adrian Stone all had a go.
Stone lifted a shot over the bar from a narrow angle and then nodded another chance over the bar.
Horsham managed to keep their clean sheet and even had another couple of attempts themselves as Freeman fired over and McCreadie was denied from long-range on the goalline by defender David Graves.
Overall it was a deserved win and one which gave the long-suffering home fans something to cheer about.
Hornets: Hunter, Simpson (Ampleford 46), Farmer, King, Charman, Akehurst, Nwachukwu, Harris, Dunn (Freeman 26), McCreadie, Marriott. Unused subs: Koboah, Woodburn, Blaney