Boss Kevin Hake was relieved to see Chatham finally get the better of Kent rivals Margate on Saturday.
Goals from forward Jamie Yila and Rowan Liburd were enough for Chats to win the hard-fought Isthmian Premier home derby 2-1, despite Gate centre-back Tyrone Sterling’s second-half strike.
While Chatham are second and fourth-bottom Gate are on a lengthy winless run, Margate had run out 2-0 victors at Hartsdown Park in October and, even before that, had won last May’s Kent Senior Trophy Final on penalties against Hake’s troops at Gillingham’s Priestfield Stadium.
“It’s never easy to win a derby game,” admitted the Chatham manager-chairman.
“They have been something of a bogey team for us in the last couple of games - the Kent Senior Cup Final and away at their ground - but at any stage of the season, it’s hard to win a game of football. Let alone a derby.
“With the run we’re on now (trying to cement a play-off place), three points seems like six, so we’ll take that all day long.”
Hake handed Chats debuts to goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney, defender Sid Nelson and full-back Jamie Mascoll, the trio’s arrival revealed ahead of kick-off.
He noted: “Jamie did brilliantly for us, defensively and offensively. I thought he was good today.
“Sid shored up the backline really well and Beeney did well.
“There wasn’t much that he could do with the goal and, in general, he just looked solid.”
Things easily could have been different for former Gillingham and Dartford keeper Beeney, however. He was left breathing a huge early sigh of relief as a back-pass slipped under his feet and squirmed narrowly wide of his right-hand post.
But Hake insisted: “We play football all the time. We’re always looking to play, so mistakes are going to happen.
“You cannot have it both ways. But it could have gone differently!”
The introduction of the new trio came as part of a somewhat surprising six changes from Tuesday’s 4-2 loss at fellow play-off occupants Wingate & Finchley.
It was a performance which was enough to instigate Hake to take action - as they suffered a second defeat in three matches.
“We always take a long, hard look at ourselves - and Tuesday night wasn’t good enough,” explained Hake, who brought in Beeney for Slavomir Huk while experienced defender Kristian Campbell also has departed. “I’m not having it!
“Certain individuals have left the club because standards are high here. We’re not getting carried away, but we want to give ourselves the best opportunity for promotion.
“In order for that to happen, we need the standards to remain high.”
Chatham visit Billericay for their Velocity Cup Quarter-Final on Tuesday and return to league action at Lewes next Saturday.