A first-half header from Darren Blake ensured Badshot Lea ended their temporary stay at Krooner Park with a win on Saturday.
Blake headed home the only goal of the game from Mac Ford’s precise free kick in the 27th minute to see of battling Colliers Wood United.
But the game was marred by ugly scenes at the end as United goalkeeper Andrew Osei was shown a red card after the final whistle for a shove on Lea forward Shaq Williams.
The visitors, who still faced the albeit unlikely prospect of relegation from the Premier Division before the game, also had Ayomide Angelo Ajose sent off 15 minutes from time for a second yellow card for dissent.
Lea boss Gavin Smith, whose side had secured their top-flight status the previous week despite losing to champions Chertsey, said: “It was quite an even game but Colliers Wood never really looked like scoring. Defensively we were really good.”
Smith and co-manager Dave Ford were due to have a meeting with chairman Mark Broad and the board this week as thoughts have already turned toward next season – although the mild-mannered boss is still keen to finish the season as high as possible.
“We could still go up another place or two in the league which would give us some momentum going into next season,” said Smith, who cut short his holiday to be at Krooner Park on Saturday.
Lea round off their rollercoaster season with away games at Raynes Park Vale on Saturday and Knaphill Athletic on April 27 – a season which has taken a significant upturn since the arrival of Smith and Ford at the end of December.
“We didn’t know what we were coming in to because of where we were in the league but the lads have been great.”
Badshot Lea: Clement, Pound, Roberts, Scott, Flanighan, Lloyd, Cadete, Herbert (Lewington 73), Williams, Ford, Blake (Sowden 71). Subs (not used): May, Bonsu, Thripp.