JACK FURZER scored the goal as Bideford battled in the Boxing Day mud for a 1-0 victory at Frome Town.
The defender fired through a crowded penalty area to beat Darren Chitty in the 62nd minute, sealing a crucial win in the Evo-Stik League Southern.
It was just reward for the visitors who should have put the result beyond doubt before half time but wasted several chances.
Sean Downing hit the post in the first minute and then headed wide, while Rob Farkins and Kevin Squire also went close.
Downing was denied by Chitty after a fine run and, when the winger was brought down, Matt Hockley's penalty was brilliantly saved.
Frome were far more competitive in the second half and Bideford goalkeeper Paul Hider was called upon to make two saves. The hosts also scrambled a shot against the bar.
After Furzer fired the goal, Bideford defended superbly in the slippery conditions with Farkins again outstanding in their back three.
The win lifted Bideford up two places to 16th in the premier division. They are next in action on New Year's Day, at home against Weymouth (3pm).
In the Toolstation Western League, the derby between Barnstaple Town and Ilfracombe Town was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
The two sides are due to play on Saturday, with Barnstaple hosting Larkhall Athletic and Ilfracombe visiting Bristol Manor Farm.
Witheridge and Holsworthy had their matches in the Carlsberg South West Peninsula League postponed. Holsworthy go to Foxhole Stars on Saturday, while Appledore host Exmouth Town.