A WONDERFUL half-volley from Connor Waldon secured Gloucester City a priceless victory at relegation rivals Worcester City in the Severn Derby.
With only one point, and one league place, separating to two homeless sides in the Skrill North table it was always going to be a nervy and tempestuous affair at Aggborough.
Waldon’s piece of brilliance highlighted a dominant first half for Dave Mehew’s side, before the Blues took the game by the scruff of the neck as the Tigers held out after near constant pressure.
The vital victory to leaps City above their rivals out of the relegation zone and also secured a fourth victory on the trot against Worcester.
After a demoralising defeat away to Oxford City on Boxing Day, Mehew’s side came out with all guns blazing as they bombarded the Worcester goal early.
First Waldon shot straight at Jose Veiga, with Joe Parker and Darren Edwards also peppering the net in an unrestrained opening.
Parker had another opportunity soon after but Veiga just managed to push the youngster wide enough to force his shot into the path of ex-City left back Tyler Weir.
Then came Waldon’s turn to put City into the lead, after Edwards had knocked the ball down to the Swindon Town loanee.
Waldon turned quickly and unleashed a stupendous half-volley over Veiga to send the large Tigers following behind the goal wild.
In an productive loan spell with Gloucester, Waldon has now netted seven goals in 10 appearances.
The goal was just reward for the positive start, but Worcester were allowed to register their first attempt shortly after with Aaron Williams troubling Mike Green with a strong effort.
Waldon, ever the livewire up front, came close again after a teasing Matt Groves corner was blasted over.
Ethan Moore, who had rejected the chance of joining the Tigers in the summer, tested Green late in the half but Gloucester went into the break with a single goal lead.
Waldon found himself in space as the Tigers roared out of the blocks yet again, but an excellent save from the Cape Verdean international denied the youngster.
From then on it was all Worcester as the home side, currently in residence at Kidderminster Harriers, looked for an avenue back in the game.
Daniel Nti saw a pair of opportunities go amiss with both being capably stopped by Green.
This was followed by a hopeful ball forward as Williams outjumped Green only to see his header bundle wide of the post, a big let-off for the Tigers shotstopper.
Heading into the final 10 minutes the home side rallied and Moore manoeuvred into space but dragged his effort at the crucial moment.
Then, after a brief mix-up between Lewis Hogg and Green, the ball found its way to Moore again who smashed wide of an open goal.
The Tigers defence stood solid, particularly Jack Harris who had a storming game at centre-back, and Worcester were forced to shoot from distance as Ebby Nelson-Addy attempted but soared over the bar.
City bodies were flying to block and pressure as the clock dwindled down into three minutes added time.
And as referee Simon Knapp blew his whistle for the final time the away end erupted and Tigers players celebrated as they knew what an important moment this could be in a troubled season.
Worcester City: J Veiga, G Williams, T Weir, M Regan, R Munday, E Deeney, E Nelson-Addy, R Taundry (Leslie 61), D Nti (Dell 66), E Moore, A Williams (Thompson 74) Subs not used: S Smith, S Hawker
Gloucester City: MJ Green, MF Green, M Giglio, M Coupe, J Harris, L Hogg, J Parker, D Mullings, D Edwards, C Waldon (Wilson 72), M Groves. Subs not used: NPhillips, Z Kotwica, D Haile, L Binns
Star man: Jack Harris