Luke Pepper, back after being out injured for almost exactly a year, scored after coming off the bench in March Town United’s weekend win in Thurlow Nunn League Division One.
Key Hares midfielder Pepper damaged knee ligaments and has since been through a few reserve games before dramatically sealing his comeback against neighbours Downham Town with the second goal.
He headed home from an Ash Blanchflower corner as the score ended 2-0.
March manager Paul Crosbie said: “Luke came on after about 15 minutes of the second half and straight away made a difference going forward.
“Luke was injured in Sunday league football 50 weeks ago. He has had three or four games with the reserve team. In that league it is roll-on, roll-off subs, so we’ve been able to get him through it.
“The other lads haven’t had his sort of experience.
“It’s a win and a clean sheet to end 2013 which has not been a good year for us.”
Michael Chow, Paul Richardson and Gary White return at home to Cornard United next Saturday, while Jordan Goult is in contention.
March Town goalkeeper Max Flintoft is targeting a comeback in the new year following his knee injuries suffered at Debenham LC on December 21, meaning Liam Higgins – who began the season with the club – became an emergency replacement.
Crosbie added: “Max came to the game but was still on crutches. I’m not sure how long Liam will be available for, but he did a great job.
“We’ve now got people back from holiday and we will have real competition for places – that’s not something we have had for a while.”