Torquay boss Alan Knill admitted his delight as his 10-man side held on to beat relegation rivals York 2-1 at Plainmoor.
Elliot Benyon fired the Gulls ahead after just six minutes, spinning on Jordan Chapell's shot to beat City goalkeeper Michael Ingham from 10 yards. Ingham could do nothing about Ryan Jarvis' winner, a thumping 20-yard drive into the top corner after 23 minutes.
York striker Richard Cresswell reduced the arrears with a 73rd-minute penalty after left-back, and last man, Thomas Cruise was sent-off for denying Josh Carson a goalscoring opportunity, but it was too little, too late for the Minstermen. It was 19th-placed Torquay's second 2-1 home win in five days and moved them five points clear of second-bottom York with six games remaining.
Knill said: "It wasn't pretty but it is all about the points. It was frantic at the end but great that we took another three points. It's a great win to cap off a great week for us.
"I was delighted for Elliot, the only thing that has been missing for him was a goal because he does a lot of work and a lot of running and his commitment is fantastic and he just needed a goal - and there it was. His finishing was clinical.
"It's a great start. Ryan is a clever player and we allow him some freedom, to go in. From where I was looking I thought it hit the side netting because the 'keeper never moved. All of a sudden people started cheering and you realise it was a goal, a great goal.
"I must admit I didn't think we played great but we did enough to win the game and that's what it's about. You can't play great every week, you have to win the game and we are starting to do that. We had to dig in at the end again and again fantastic from the players they did the right things, dug-in, and saw out the game."
City boss Nigel Worthington was left to rue his side's slow start as Torquay established a two-nil lead inside the opening quarter of the crunch clash.
"The game is 90 minutes long not 20 and you cannot afford to give the opposition a two-goal start because it's tough going getting back into it," he said. "We gave away two very soft goals.
"But I thought they showed a lot of spirit and they passed the ball a lot better than we have been, which I was very pleased with. Games are running down, time is running down so we need to do it sooner rather than later. There's six games left for us now. We need the points on the board and we have another long trip away to Bristol Rovers next weekend."