Carshalton Athletic made it six wins in a row after an improved second-half performance saw off a spirited Cray Wanderers.
A lacklustre opening 45 saw the Robins behind after defender Lea Dawson plundered his sixth goal of the season, and that despite the fact the visitors were playing with 10 men from the 22nd minute.
But second-half goals by Omar Folkes and Bobby Price saw Carshalton solidify their grip on third in the Ryman Division One South ahead of a Tuesday night visit to Hastings United.
“It was very much a game of two halves,” said Carshalton midfielder Jordan Hibbert, “as we were disjointed at times and didn’t take advantage of their sending off until the second-half.
“Sometimes that happens but, after we’d collected our thoughts and listened to Peter’s (Adeniyi, manager) words of encouragement at half-time, we pressed them more and kept on the front foot even after taking the lead.
“Everyone was buzzing afterwards, the team spirit here is high and that’s shared between every player in the squad,” added Hibbert.
The visiting Wands started the game brightly but, midway through the first-half, Lee Prescott was instantly dismissed for a needlessly high challenge on Sekou Kaba.
But Carshalton twice failed to deal with a free kick into their area on 37 minutes and Dawson punished them from close range.
They came out looking a different side however and, with Ryan Gondoh in particular pulling the strings, Carshalton turned it around with two goals in two minutes just after the hour.
On-loan striker Omar Folkes first pounced to ram home Gondoh’s parried effort from distance, then defender Bobby Price collected a Gondoh through ball before beating keeper Nick Blue from a narrow angle.
Although Carshalton’s promotion charge is on track, the clubs around them do have games in hand, plus the top two – Tooting and Mitchan United and Dorking Wanderers – aren’t dropping many points either.
“It is a bit frustrating to not see Tooting or Dorking drop points but we can only control what we do, so we’ll look to keep on winning and hopefully that’ll lead us to something by the end of the season,” Hibbert said.
Hastings United vs Carshalton Athletic is on Tuesday, February 21 (KO 7.45pm).