Tooting & Mitcham United 2 Wealdstone 3
Gordpn Bartlett hailed his team's never say die spirit as Danny Spendlove's injury-time winner rolled the Stones nearer the Ryman Premier play-offs.
Now seventh in the table and grinding out results with untried defensive units, the Stones just never seem to know when they are beaten.
Stones initially fell behind thanks to a stunning goal by Paul Vines, before Kieron Forbes got them back on level terms with his first goal for the club.
However, the hosts edged back ahead on the stroke of half-time thanks to their former prodigy, on-loan Reading trickster Michael Antonio.
Ryan Ashe, so instrumental in the middle of the park in the second half, made it 2-2 with a free kick that deceived Tooting goalkeeper Steve King. The visitors started to take control of proceedings and their dominance paid off when winger Spendlove scored in the 92nd minute, sending his teammates - and the normally composed Bartlett - into raptures.
"To say I'm delighted would be an understatement," said the Stones boss. "Before the game I would have been happy to take a point, as I had to re-jig our defence, and playing without an outand-out central defender gave me cause for concern, especially against Tooting's front two.
"We've not had the best of records against Tooting, but the result on Saturday was fantastic. It is not very often you see me dancing along the touchline, but this was a nice way to win. There have been too many times this season where we've lost in the last minute."
"The lads have come a long way since the start of the season, when things were going wrong for us," he continued. "Those problems have helped their characters. The boys have gelled well together and there is a good work ethic and sprit."
So what did Bartlett say to his side at the break to herald such a turnaround? "The same as I did when we played Hendon - told them about the training sessions,"revealed the manager. "They have been so high tempo, yet we had not done that in the first half.
"But at 2-2 we got stronger and the match became a total reverse of the defeat to Tooting at our place earlier in the season.
"It was a superb response."
Stones were without suspended skip-per James Gray and injured defenders Darren Locke and Carl Martin, prompting Bartlett to move wing back and captain-for-the-day Lee Chappell into central defence alongside Alan Massey, with youngster Garry Jones coming in at left back.
"Chapps and Alan did well. But hats off to Chapps in particular, as he got a bad ankle injury - we heard it crack from where we were. But he wanted to continue and that typifies Lee Chappell. His desire to do well for this club is phenomenal.
"Garry, meanwhile, took a bit of time to get use to the difference in pace, but he is going to become a very good player.
"I was also delighted with Chris O'Leary and Ryan Ashe, who totally dominated the midfield in the second half."
The Stones goal led a charmed life during the opening exchanges on Saturday, with the woodwork twice denying Tooting. However, their early pressure paid off when Vines fired home from distance after 18 minutes.
Stones regrouped, however, and got back on level terms when Forbes, after a lung-busting run, curled the ball into the net two minutes before the break. But Tooting stormed back from the restart and Antonio ghosted in ahead of Sean Thomas to regain his side's slender lead.
Stones looked an entirely different prospect in the second half and were soon back on level terms when Ashe whipped a free kick beyond Tooting stopper King after 65 minutes.
The Terrors' frustrations grew and were clear to see after a rash tackle left Chappell clutching his ankle in agony, before deciding to play on through the pain barrier.
The visitors kept probing as the clock ticked down, and got their reward when Spendlove hared down on goal before producing a cool, composed finish to steal all three points.
* Wealdstone: Thomas, McCoy, Jones, Chappell, Massey, Ashe, Forbes, O'Leary,Haule (Hilaire, 75), Ngoyi, Spendlove