Hemel Hempstead Town made it three wins from their last four games as they confidently swept aside second from bottom Havant & Waterlooville 2-0 at a soggy Vauxhall Road.
The game was in serious doubt after heavy overnight rain fell onto an already sodden pitch, but the match was given the green light following a morning pitch inspection.
And Hemel will be delighted it did, as they registered only their third home league win of the season courtesy of goals from Louis John and Ogo Obi either side of half-time.
The first real chance of the game came in the 10th minute when Ben Herd teed up Zane Banton, whose effort was blocked on the line, before Michael Richens saw a piledriver tipped around the post by Hawks keeper Ryan Young soon afterwards.
The hosts should have broken the deadlock in the 24th minute when Jamie Slabber collected Graeme Montgomery’s floated free-kick in the six-yard box, but the striker turned and blasted his effort over the bar from close range.
Havant’s first meaningful attempt on goal came shortly before the half hour mark as Scott Donnelly tried his luck with a dipping half volley, but the effort went a couple of yards over Jamie Butler’s bar, before Theo Lewis forced a decent stop from the Hemel keeper a moment later.
The deadlock was broken in the 35th minute, in rather fortuitous circumstances as Spring’s deep corner was headed back across goal, where Daniel Pappoe’s wayward shot hit Louis John and flew into the net to put Hemel 1-0 ahead.
The Tudors came close to doubling their advantage at the end of the first half, but Young produced a fine stop to tip away Hawkins’ rasping drive and ensure his side went in at half-time with just a one-goal deficit.
Havant were the first side to have a strike on target in the second half as Shamir Mullings took aim from distance in the 53rd minute, but Butler got down well to save, before Dan Strugnell headed wide from a corner shortly afterwards.
There was controversy in the 66th minute as Slabber went down in the box under a challenge from Hill, with the Havant defender appearing to get very little – if any – of the ball, but the referee waved away Hemel’s appeals.
In the end, it didn’t matter as Hemel broke deep into stoppage time and wrapped up the win in style as Obi cut in from the left and fired home to make sure of the three points.
Hemel Hempstead Town: 1 Jamie Butler, 2 Ed Asafu-Adjaye (15 Forbes, 76), 3 Ben Herd (c), 4 Daniel Pappoe, 5 Louis John, 6 Matt Spring, 7 Zane Banton (12 Dennis Oli, 67), 8 Michael Richens, 9 Oliver Hawkins, 10 Jamie Slabber (14 Ogo Obi, 84), 11 Graeme Montgomery. Subs not used: 16 Aristote Amisi, 17 Jack Smith (GK).
Havant & Waterlooville: 1 Ryan Young, 2 Dan Strugnell, 3 Harry Medway, 4 Brian Dutton (c) (12 Jack Whatmough, 77), 5 Lee Molyneaux, 6 Josh Hill, 7 Nic Ciardini, 8 Scott Donnelly, 9 Matt Patterson (14 James Hayter, 77), 10 Shamir Mullings (16 Ben Swallow, 77), 11 Theo Lewis. Subs not used: 15 Warren Cummings, 17 Marvin Morgan.