GREAT Harwood boss John Hughes breathed a hugh sigh of relief after his side finally chalked up a win.
The Robins have suffered a bad run of six losses but they finally got the victory they needed when the beat high flying Flixton 2-1 in the NWCL Division Two on Saturday.
Darren Rodgers opened the scoring for his fifth goal of the season with former Bury youngster Yakub Khan's pace making Harwood's second.
Flixton got a bizarre goal back with a long throw bouncing through bodies in the box and hitting the post with the referee saying it had hit the keeper and bounced into the net to make it 2-1 and a nervy ending.
And Harwood keeper Bobby Harris also saved a penalty to make sure the Robins secured a valuable three points.
"It was a good win and we deserved it. We were definitely the better side," said Hughes.
"It was only Yakub's second game and in the first he did okay but in the second, he did really well. His pace was electrifying and that took him past the defender for the goal.
"Bobby was the hero again with his penalty save but one person who deserves a mention is Neil Kennedy in defence.
"He is not able to play regularly because of family commitments but he came in and used his experience and talked a lot which is what I wanted.
"And I have Dennis Hill back now in midfield and he gives us that bit more experience."
The win moved Harwood out of the bottom three and up to 15th place in the league.
But now they turn their attention to cup action tomorrow when they take on NWCL Division One side Atherton Collieries tomorrow (Sat) in the League Challenge Cup Round Two at the Interlink (ko 3pm).
It is a bit of a grudge clash as Atherton Collieries and Harwood faced a real battle to the final game of last season to stay up - and the former clinched it by beating high-flying Bacup in the last match of the campaign.
"We owe them one from last season," said Hughes. "I don't know how they beat Bacup but the managed to do it and stayed up and we went down despite a late revival so we definitely owe them something.
"We don't mind this cup as we got to the final a few years ago and Colne beat us.
"But cups have their drawbacks with injuries and suspensions. We had a good run in the FA Cup this season until we came up against Harrogate and while we enjoyed it, it took it out of us.
"It is weird this season, though, as it is just like a repeat of three years ago.
"Then we also played Harrogate in the FA Cup and went on a run where we got beat for the next nine or 10 games.
"But then we got ourselves back into it again and went on a run of 19 games unbeaten - let's hope Flixton is the first of our 19 games!"
And, after Saturday, Harwood are in action in the newly named United Co-Operative Challenge Trophy against UniBond Premier third placed side Marine at the Interlink on Tuesday (ko 7.45pm).
Marine include in their number former Accrington Stanley defender Steve Hollis but he is suspended for three games and his wife is due to give birth to their second child any day now.
"I have spoke to Radcliffe manager Kevin Glendon about Marine and he says they are a strong side," said Hughes.
"But we are the underdogs and we have just got to go out and see what we can do.
"The side is coming together now. I am happy with the strikeforce and the midfield isn't bad, it is just the defence which we need to improve."