Cape Town - Bottom feeders Chippa United scored a crucial win at a cold and wet Philippi Stadium on Wednesday night, beating Moroka Swallows 2-1 to retain slim hopes of keeping their place in the PSL next season.
Despite the icy conditions and the flooded roads around the stadium, a near capacity crowd turned out to see the rookies try and salvage what has been a testing season.
With new coach Mark Harrison on the bench, Chippa got the match off to the worst possible start when they went a goal down within two minutes of the kick-off.
GALLERY: Best pics from PSL action
Katlego Mashego was allowed too much space on the edge of the box, allowing him to pick out Bennett Chenene, who slotted in a low, composed finish from just inside the box.
Chippa continued to find themselves on the back foot for the opening 20 minutes, struggling to find any fluency in their game and rarely getting out of their own half, with star striker Benjani Mwaruwari hardly in the mix at all.
But the Cape side slowly began to gain a stranglehold on the match, and were back on even terms in the 29th minute when Mbulelo Mabizela scored his first goal for the club, towering above the Birds defence to head home Rudiger Gilbert's free kick.
The goal saw the Chilli Boys playing with renewed confidence and they went in front for the first time five minutes ahead of the break when Gilbert's corner was worked towards the far post where Msekeli Mvalo netted from a header.
The hosts had the first chance after the restart when Asavela Mbekile was put through on goal by Gilbert, but he was foiled by goalminder Greg Etafia, who moved quickly off his line to close the angle.
The Birds then came close to equalising, but Chippa 'keeper Tashrique Goldman pulled off an excellent save to deny Lerato Chabangu's long-range shot.
Goldman was again at it in the 56th minute, showing outstanding reflexes to tip Roger da Costa's header clear of goal.
The Cape outfit always looked threatening on the counter attack and should have added a third goal with 15 minutes to go, but Twala, having been clean through on goal, shirked his responsibilities, passing to Buyani Sali, whose attempt skimmed just over the bar.
While they picked up three points, Chippa remained four points behind Black Leopards, second last in the standings, with five games left in the campaign.