Lancaster City needed two second-half goals to see off battling bottom side New Mills on Tuesday night.
It looked like it might be one-way traffic when Terry Cummings gave the Dolly Blues a second-minute lead at Church Lane.
But despite picking up just two points all season the Millers competed well and were level on the stroke of half-time when Ryan Hopper converted a controversial penalty.
Phil Brown’s side however made sure of a first win in four games in the second half, goals from Tom Watson and Craig Carney seeing them move up to seventh in the Evo-Stik First Division North.
The hosts were seemingly on course for another thumping defeat when Cummings opened the scoring, Bobby Langford’s shot coming back off the post before the striker fired home the rebound from six yards.
Jacob Gregory then volleyed straight at goalkeeper Oliver Martin as City pressed for a second and looked to break the Millers’ spirit.
Langford was needed to clear a dangerous Lee Wilshaw cross before the Blues’ next opening, Jacob Davis seeing a looping shot hit the top of the crossbar with 12 minutes on the clock.
Despite fleeting Millers breaks forwards it was Brown’s men who continued to have the best of the chances, Cummings seeing a cheeky flick blocked before Langford headed inches wide.
The hosts should have been level three minutes before the interval but after breaking through the City defence Adam Blackburn saw his effort one-on-one with Dave Rodgerson saved by the legs of the City ‘keeper.
The Millers got their goal from the penalty spot with time almost up in the first period.
Rodgerson appeared to punch the ball clear cleanly but was adjudged to have taken out some attackers in the process, Hopper doing the rest from 12 yards as he sent the Blues stopper the wrong way.
City soon reasserted their authority after the interval, Mercer firing inches over the bar before the Blues went back in front 10 minutes into the second half.
Watson picked up the loose ball in the area before drilling home a shot from 15 yards.
The visitors then dominated the second half, Cummings coming within inches of converting a Ryan Winder free-kick before Langford saw a deflected shot go agonisingly wide and a second effort easily collected by Martin.
Substitute Danny Shearwood came within inches of getting City’s third but saw his one-on-one effort go narrowly wide on 78 minutes.
It was Carney who wrapped up the points 10 minutes from time, beating three would-be tacklers before drilling home a low shot from 17 yards.
New Mills: Martin. Coates (Woodhead 57), Golden, Wilshaw, Pritchard (capt), Jones, Williams, Hopper, Blackburn (Adigun 54), Hibbert, McLoughlin (Douglas-Pringle 90). Subs not used: Gibbs.
Lancaster City: Rodgerson, Davis, Mercer (capt), Anderson (Gregson 88), Clark, Gregory, Watson, Winder, Carney, Cummings, Langford (Shearwood 70). Subs not used: Henry.
Referee: David Benton