Grays Athletic do not make life easy for themselves and this narrow victory over fellow strugglers Tamworth was no exception.
Justin Edinburgh's men have to be applauded for the way they stuck to the task against a classy but strangely one-paced Tamworth, who had just won their last three games.
The first half was a typical relegation dogfight with both teams doing nothing wrong but there was little evidence of individual flair or creativity.
Dennis Oli continued to do the work of two men up front and unsung hero John Martin kept harrying the Tamworh midfield. However as on previous occasions, the opposition keeper remained relatively untroubled.
Indeed a call from the Blues fans to the Grays players "You're playing in blue" gave an indication as to the quality of passing in the first half.
But the Blues' high tempo game and resolute defending finally paid off in the 41st minute when Gavin Grant on the right side of the penalty area met a Jamie Stuart free kick with a volley that went straight down on to ground before bouncing strangely over the keeper's head.
A touch lucky but Grays have been long overdue some.
The second half was far more exciting and frenetic. Grant and new signing Alex Rhodes had shots blocked by the keeper around the hour mark while at the other end, the unheralded defender Mawer made a series of vital clearances.
Tamworth began to move up the gears in the last half hour but many of Grays players stepped up to the plate.
In the 67th minute, right back Andy Sambrook made a couple of incredible goalline clearances. The first with his feet and then a header off the line.
Martin was also equal to the task, blocking a ball in midfield in the 82nd minute with his whole body.
Grays should have put the game beyond Tamworth with Rhodes and Griffith missing easy chances in the final ten minutes.
Six minutes of injury time didn't help the crowd's nerves but Grays remained steadfast.
After the game Justin Edinburgh said: "Getting three points today was so important for the boys. They have a great spirit and I am very proud of them."
By Michael Casey
Thanks to the Thurrock Gazette for the report