Grimsby Town took another giant step towards Football League survival as they beat Swindon Town at the County Ground to claim their first away win since November.
Again, Mitch Rose was the hero as his penalty in first-half stoppage time proved to be the only goal of the game.
Town saw out the game from then on, defending well when needed and creating chances to add to their lead.
And although results elsewhere meant the Mariners are not yet mathematically safe from relegation, they stay five points clear of Barnet with two games to go in the battle to beat the drop to the National League.
One change was made to the Town side that drew with Barnet last week, with Harry Clifton coming into the starting XI as Siriki Dembele dropped to the bench.
James McKeown started in goal, with Reece Hall-Johnson, Nathan Clarke, Danny Collins and Andrew Fox making up the defence.
Clifton, Luke Summerfield, Rose, Martyn Woolford and JJ Hooper were the midfielders, with Harry Cardwell the furthest forward in attack.
The substitutes were Ben Davies, Gary McSheffrey, Easah Suliman, Dembele, Jamille Matt, Ben Killip and Simeon Jackson.
Swindon boss Phil Brown made six alterations to his team as they looked to reignite their play-off charge with a first win in seven games.
They sat four points outside the top seven at kick-off and were looking for three points to keep their promotion hopes alive.
A positive start by the Mariners saw Clifton play a ball through for Hooper but he could not get it under control and a goal kick was the result.
After an early stoppage for Swindon’s Keshi Anderson to receive treatment on an injury, Town’s next attack came from a long throw by Rose and led to Clifton firing a volley over the bar.
The first corner of the game went to Town on seven minutes and it led to a low shot from Clifton being blocked, before Swindon’s first attack of note saw McKeown make a comfortable save from Marc Richards.
Hooper narrowly failed to connect with a good cross by Hall-Johnson as Town continued their good start to the game.
Collins blocked a shot by Amine Linganzi at the other end on 18 minutes, before a home free kick was dealt with and another chance was missed by Linganzi as the home side came into the game.
McKeown pushed a shot clear of danger and Matt Taylor headed wide as Swindon continued to put pressure on the Grimsby defence, before an opening for the Mariners was not taken as Cardwell could not connect with the ball after it was flicked on from a free kick.
A shot from Taylor was blocked for a corner by Clarke but the ball from the flag was dealt with and Hall-Johnson cleared it upfield.
Clifton won a corner on 27 minutes and a well-worked routine saw the ball go through to Woolford but his shot was off-target.
Anderson was the next to threaten at the other end but he was denied by McKeown.
The home side thought they had taken the lead just before the half-hour when Paul Mullin put the ball into the net but after appeals for handball from the Town defenders, the referee agreed with the protests, ruled the goal out and issued Mullin with a yellow card.
Woolford sent a volley wide for Town, then Richards hit the bar with a shot at the other end as the hosts again went close to opening the scoring.
Hall-Johnson was booked for bringing Anderson down on the halfway line, then Cardwell failed to connect with a cross from the right-back.
One added minute was signalled by the fourth official and in that extra minute, the Mariners got the game’s first goal. Cardwell was brought down inside the Swindon penalty area and after referee John Brooks pointed to the spot, ROSE stepped up to score from 12 yards for the third game in a row.
That gave the visitors a vital lead at the interval as they aimed to go closer to securing their Football League status.
No changes were made before the restart and an early foul by Cardwell on Ryan McGivern earned him a talking-to by the referee.
A curling shot by Mullin went wide after Fox had given the ball away, then the first opportunity of the half at the other end saw Hooper drag an effort wide.
A Swindon free kick played low into the Town box saw Anderson hit a shot towards goal but McKeown was equal to it, diving to make a great save before the rebound was fired over the bar.
A free kick at the other end then saw Clarke head through to keeper Reice Charles-Cook, then debutant Joe Romanski won a corner for the hosts at the other end, which was headed clear by Cardwell.
Mullin and James Dunne were replaced by Donal McDermott and Ollie Banks as Swindon made a double substitution on 55 minutes.
Soon afterwards, a Town corner led to a Hooper shot being blocked for another flag-kick, which saw Linganzi head clear for a throw-in. Rose’s throw was cleared for another one as the Grimsby pressure continued.
Another corner was won by Clifton on 59 minutes but when the ball came in, Collins headed it just over the bar.
Collins then headed the ball out for a corner at the other end and it turned into another one before the danger was cleared by the Town defence.
A Town free kick on 70 minutes led to a corner, which saw Clarke head just over the bar.
The final Swindon change saw Scott Twine replace Anderson, before Town made a double substitution of their own as Davies and Matt came on for Hall-Johnson and Hooper.
Another Grimsby corner came on 73 minutes but this time, Clarke’s header was cleared off the line as the Marners continued to search for a second goal.
Clifton glanced a header wide at the end of another good move, then a Swindon corner caused no problems as it was headed off-target.
McDermott missed the target with a shot for the hosts with five minutes to go, before the final substitution of the game saw Suliman replace Hooper as Town looked to an extra defender as they aimed to see the game out.
A shot from Twine just missed the target with a minute to go and the hosts kept attacking as the fourth official’s board told the Mariners and their fans that they would have an additional four minutes to hold out.
But as Swindon failed to threaten in the additional time, Town were able to see the game out and collect a massive three points which mean they now need just one more positive result to clinch safety.
Their first opportunity to get it will be next Saturday, when they face Notts County at Blundell Park.
21 Reice Charles-Cook
24 Kyle Knoyle
3 Chris Hussey
23 Joe Romanski
34 Ryan McGivern
16 Amine Linganzi
30 Keshi Anderson
8 James Dunne
31 Matthew Taylor F
7 Paul Mullin
17 Marc Richards (C)
28 Stuart Moore
2 Ben Purkiss
29 Oliver Banks
19 Timi Max Elsnik
18 Donal McDermott
27 Scott Twine
26 Jordan Young
1 James McKeown
31 Reece Hall-Johnson
23 Andrew Fox
5 Nathan Clarke (C)
6 Danny Collins
19 Luke Summerfield
15 Harry Clifton
8 Mitch Rose
25 Martyn Woolford
17 Harry Cardwell
9 JJ Hooper
30 Ben Killip
2 Ben Davies
16 Easah Suliman
27 Siriki Dembele
39 Simeon Jackson
29 Jamille Matt
10 Gary McSheffrey
Referee: John Brooks
Next Up: Notts County (H)