Port Vale's 10 men held firm to reignite their promotion challenge as they defeated Burton Albion 2-1 at Vale Park.
Apprehension surrounded the club's first home game since Micky Adams' departure as manager, but two goals in the opening six minutes on Monday afternoon soon changed the mood and eventually proved enough to see off Burton.
Vale's 5-0 drubbing at Rotherham on New Year's Day - their first match without Adams at the helm - was soon forgotten as John McCombe rammed in a fourth-minute shot and Justin Richards headed the second from a Louis Dodds cross.
Burton boss Paul Peschisolido made all three of his substitutions in an attempt to turn the tide and it was the last of them, Shaun Harrad, who reduced the deficit on the hour.
Jacques Maghoma outstripped Adam Yates before delivering a low cross for Harrad to rifle in his 11th goal of the season from point-blank range.
The Valiants were reduced to 10 men two minutes later with skipper Marc Richards shown a straight red card for swinging an arm into Nathan Stanton's face, an offence which will lead to a costly three-match ban for the club's top scorer. But the hosts, now under the stewardship of caretaker managers Geoff Horsfield and Mark Grew, battled hard to secure three precious points.