Lewes 1, Salisbury 0: Steven King watched his Lewes side beat high-flying Salisbury and then declared: "Our play-off dream is still alive."

Many people believe the Rooks have little chance of a top five finish because they have played as many as five games more than some of their rivals.

King acknowledges the odds are stacked against his team but insists they will battle all the way to achieve their goal.

Craig O'Connor struck a 72nd-minute winner to sink second-placed Salisbury and move Lewes to within two points of the play-offs, albeit temporarily ahead of Saturday's games.

King said: "All we can do just keep winning our games and see where that takes us.

"We are turning the screw, we are unbeaten in nine games and I think the boys have been magnificent over the last month and a half. I just wish we could have started that a bit earlier.

"But we are not going to give up. We are going to go all the way to the death and I'm sure it might go all the way to the Bishop's Stortford game at the end of the season."

Lewes suffered a blow before kick- off when new signing Matthew Hislop was prevented from playing.

The paperwork for the former Queens Park Rangers left-back had arrived a minute after the league's 24-hour deadline on Thursday.

With Matt McEntegart, who has been filling in at left-back for the injured Lewis Hamilton, ruled out with a broken foot it meant midfielder Simon Wormull was forced to play at No. 3.

There was a further scare inside the first minute when Steve Elliott was scythed down by former Crawley midfielder Danny Clay. The Salisbury man was booked while Elliott was able to continue after lengthy treatment.

Lewes started positively as you would expect from a team unbeaten in eight games but Salisbury created the better opportunities in the opening exchanges.

Cheeky Luke Prince shot tamely past the far post after skipping clear in eight minutes and lanky striker Robert Matthews sent a cheeky backheel wide soon after with goalkeeper Steve Williams in no-man's-land.

For Lewes Paul Booth, fresh from nine goals in five games, twice found himself in good positions in front of goal but failed to get in a shot on each occasion.

The best chance of the first half came a minute before the break when the lively Prince cut inside from the right before rattling the crossbar with a left- footed strike.

O'Connor fizzed a shot wide nine minutes into the restart but Lewes were too often frustrated in their attempts to open up the Salisbury defence.

A bobbly pitch and the visitors' tendency to prefer the high ball were not conducive to good football.

It looked like Salisbury had come for a draw, although they continued to carry a threat on odd forays forward and Williams needed to produce a flying save to keep out a stinging effort from Scott Bartlett.

The home fans finally had something to shout about 18 minutes from time with a goal from a recycled corner. Paul Kennett's prodded pass picked out Gary Holloway who cut the ball back for O'Connor to finish with aplomb.

Three minutes later Jamie Cade almost killed off the visitors, shooting wide on the turn after a well-crafted move.

But Lewes needed a rear -guard action to hold out for victory in the closing stages when teenager Elliott was particularly outstanding.

King added: "That was a great team performance all over the park.

"Worms slotted in excellently and little Steve Elliott was magnificent. For an 18-year-old he has a great future at this football club.

"Craig O'Connor has been a revelation since he has been here. They call him The Rat in the dressing room because he is always at your toes and never gives you a minute's rest. He works hard and takes his chances when they come.

"His work ethic tonight is what set the tone for the team."

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