A late brace by teenager Harry Trussler (left) enabled Winchester to beat fellow strugglers Tunbridge Wells 4-2 and lift themselves off the South League Premier Divison basement in the process.
Winchester twice allowed leads to slip before Trussler stepped into the limelight to convert successive penalty corners and give the city side two precious points in their battle to avoid relegation.
The Kings' survival scrap, in which both teams are deeply involved, gave the clash huge significance and it was the visitors who started the brightest.
Yet Winchester's attacking force soon showed a spark with Ben Hibberd putting narrowly over the bar.
Shortly afterwards, Craig Jeffrey, returning from an early season injury, received a pass from Kent Langridge and powered into the D, slotting past the TW keeper after 15 minutes.
The goal settled Winchester, and their first penalty corner nearly extended their lead as the loose ball spun agonisingly on the line before being cleared.
Tunbridge Wells still had plenty of enterprise and in the dying minutes of the first half, they broke through a couple of missed midfield tackles, found a way round the back of Winchester defence and Tom Butt converted an unstoppable reverse strike to level matters at 1-1.
An action-packed second half ensued, begun by a stunning solo goal from Kent Langridge, turning his man brilliantly in the D and sliding the ball past the advancing Tunbridge Wells keeper.
From here onwards, Winchester goalkeeper/coach George Harris came into his own, with two outstanding penalty corner saves and another when he was abandoned by his otherwise- loyal defence to face a short range one-to-one which he smothered.
Tunbridge Wells kept the pressure on for another equaliser and Winchester were starting to look a little shaky defensively although sweeper James Pawley kept up his outstanding season's form.
The visitors' equalising goal by David Hemsley, when it came, was no surprise, a penalty corner powered past Winchester's defensive wall.
The game seemed destined to end in a draw, no use the either team, until Harry Trussler stepped into the limelight to unleash a powerful penalty corner drag-flick into the top right of the Tunbridge Wells goal to make it 3-2.
There was enough time remaining for Winchester to put the result beyond doubt as Trussler was on hand again at a penalty corner after a neat interchange.
The bottom of the Premier Division table sees three teams on ten points with Tunbridge Wells and West Hampstead.
Winchester have a minus 28 goal deficit that will be tested further by the visits of high scorers Guildford and Indian Gymkhana in the next three weeks.
Pictures courtesy of Richard Humphreys
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