Witham Town manager Garry Kimble and his players celebrated like they “had won the FA Cup” after beating AFC Sudbury 2-1 on a memorable night at the King’s Marsh Stadium.
Shamido Pedulu came off the bench to fire Witham to a vital three Ryman League division one north points.
James Stevens had earlier fired in a superb free-kick in the 84th minute to level the scores after the hosts had taken the lead, but Pedulu saved the best until last.
The youngster, who has broken into Witham’s first-team this year after impressing in their reserves, came on to fire home the winning goal in the 93rd minute and seal a 2-1 win against one of Town’s promotion rivals.
Kimble said: “We celebrated like we had won the FA Cup.
“That was how much it meant to us.
“We are doing so well on the road.
“Our away form has been exceptional and no-one else in the league can touch our record away from home.
“It was a massive game for us because we have to win these types of games.
“We have to go to the teams around us and be able to pick up three points if we want to win the league, so it was great to do it at Sudbury.
“Everyone is saying we are favourites, but we have to stay level-headed and just take it one game at a time.
“That’s vital because you don’t know when football can come back and bite you on the backside.
“But other managers, like Terry Spillane and Barry Lakin, were there and they said afterwards how impressive we are looking.
“They said we’re big and strong and that’s a complement to Witham Town FC.
“It’s down to the players as they have performed and we haven’t had many bad days this season.
“Team spirit is second to none and I had Kris Newby saying to me that he has never been in a better dressing room than ours.
“Everyone is playing in the right way and maybe this could be our time.
“We have made giant strides in the last two years since we were in the Essex Seniro League.
“If someone had said to me when we were there that we would be among the favourites to go into the Ryman premier at this time, I’d have bitten their hand off.
“But it’s the players who have got themselves into this great position and hopefully they can see it through.”