Cape Town - Free State Stars beat fellow Absa Premiership strugglers Baroka FC 1-0 in a tightly contested clash at the James Motlatsi Stadium in Orkney on Wednesday evening.
Victory moves Ea Lla Koto off the foot of the table while Bakgaga take their place in the relegation zone, as the Limpopo side remain without a league win since October.
It was always going to be a close encounter with both teams aware of the importance of the clash as they aim to end the calendar year on a high with the Christmas break around the corner.
But, for all the attacking impetus in the first-half a goal was not to be forthcoming with the scores deadlocked at 0-0 at the break.
Stars continued to press forward for the winner and were duly rewarded as Lesedi Mapheto guided the ball into the back of his own net in the 69th minute of the clash.
New recruits Thamsanqa Teyise and Rooi Mahamutsa stood firm for the hosts in the closing exchanges as the Free State side held on for a valuable win.