Harvey Rodgers scored the only goal as Accrington Stanley celebrated their first win in eight league matches at Cambridge United.
The defender now has three goals for the season and his glancing header in added time in the first half was another important one as the Reds moved above United in the table into 19th place.
Rosaire Longelo and Seamus Conneely came in for the injured Joe Pritchard and Sean McConville and Stanley dominated the first half.
From the off, they put pressure on Cambridge who hadn’t scored a league goal at home since September 3rd – now extended to six League One matches.
Tommy Leigh’s free kick deflected over and Ethan Hamilton drove an effort wide before Stanley were frustrated with a disallowed goal on 16 minutes.
A short corner led to a goalmouth scramble and Doug Tharme fired home at the far post but, after a discussion between the referee and his assistant, the ‘goal’ was ruled out.
Rodgers couldn’t guide a strike on target and Shaun Whalley headed over before the winger appealed for a spot kick when he appeared to be tripped in the box but nothing was given.
Hamilton fired a free kick into the side netting while there were a couple of fierce crosses into the box collected by keeper Will Mannion.
Stanley took the lead in the second minute of added time when a Tharme long throw found the head of Rodgers who flicked home the all-important goal.
Cambridge had one shot in the first half – and it didn’t test Toby Savin.
However, United came out battling after the break and looked more dangerous but Stanley still were a threat – Leigh’s effort whisking just wide of the far post.
After a flowing move, Hamilton’s effort was deflected wide as the Reds looked for a second.
Cambridge were always in it though and Savin did well to keep out a fierce strike from substitute Saikou Janneh with just nine minutes left.
Stanley saw the game out and John Coleman will be relieved to get a vital three points on board.
Stanley: Savin, Clark, Rodgers, Tharme, Fernandes, Longelo (Perritt), Coyle, Conneely, Hamilton, Whalley, Leigh (Adedoyin)
Subs: Jensen, Nolan, Delfouneso, Martin, Sisay
Yellow: Rodgers, Perritt