ILFRACOMBE TOWN'S first away win in nine attempts kept them out of the relegation zone in the Toolstation Western League Premier Division.
Top scorer Stan Paxton took his tally for the season to 15 with a double strike in a 3-1 win at Willand Rovers.
With Bishop Sutton winning 2-1 at Hallen, extending their unbeaten run to four matches, Ilfracombe would have been in the bottom two had they not won on the road for the first time since beating Brislington 2-0 on December 7.
Louis Murrell gave Ilfracombe an excellent start, following up to open the scoring after Kane Dryden won a header from Mark Clunie's corner. Paxton then burst on to a long clearance from goalkeeper Kurtis Parkin to make it 2-0.
Willand had Russell Jee sent off for an alleged stamp on Steve Holland and Combe wasted a chance to make it 3-0 before half time when Paxton fired over.
The 10 men replied early in the second half as Joe Bushin won possession from Ross Middleton to pull one back.
But the visitors restored their two-goal cushion with Josh Heafield combining with Jamie Bright to set up a second goal for Paxton.
Scott Rogers, the Willand player-manager, hit the post but Ilfracombe held out for their third away win of the season.
With Bishop Sutton winning, Ilfracombe's safety remains in the balance with four games to go. Hengrove Athletic and Radstock Town are the other two sides in the relegation fight.
"It's a little mini-league with four of us," said player-manager Middleton. "We want to overtake Radstock. That's in our grasp now."
After taking a 2-0 lead at Sherborne Town through Paxton and a thumping volley from Clunie last Wednesday, Ilfracombe had to settle for a 2-2 draw.