Polokwane - Stellenbosch FC have ensured they will begin 2020 outside of the relegation zone after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Baroka FC at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in the Absa Premiership on Saturday afternoon.
It had been five games since their last league win with two draws and three losses, including a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Kaizer Chiefs in a very poor run of form.
They began the match against Baroka rooted to the bottom of the table and were made to work hard by a well-disciplined Baroka defence.
Baroka themselves have not been in the best of form of late either with this result making it four since their last Absa Premiership win.
They have dropped down to 13th in the standings on just 14 points and could drop down into the relegation zone if AmaZulu and Polokwane City get results later in the weekend.
Such is the tight nature of the bottom of the league, though, Stellenbosch jump from last to 11th with the win and will remain outside of the drop zone until at least next year even if Chippa United, Polokwane City and AmaZulu all win their next game.
While Baroka were solid on defence, they offered almost nothing going forward, which goes a long way to explaining why they haven't won a single game at home this season yet.
While their lack of ambition meant they were barely able to register a shot on target, it did make defending easier as they were rarely caught without enough defenders behind the ball.
All said it wasn't the most exciting of encounters and will not go down in the history books as a classic.
Waseem Isaacs was able to poke Stellenbosch into the lead in the 59th minute with a sharp close-range finish.
The goal sparked Baroka into life and, to their credit, they did get a little bit more adventurous in search of an equaliser. But in the end, it was too little, too late as Stellenbosch showed some good defensive composure of their own and clung on for what could turn out to be a vital win.