IN the context of the season Motherwell's 1-0 win over Aberdeen on Saturday may well go down as one of the most significant.
As a spectacle it wasnt pretty but the relief and delight etched on manager Stuart McCall's face at full-time said it all.
"It was a massive three points", he claimed afterwards.
There are two schools of thought as to why victory was of such importance.
Some point to the fact Motherwell are now level on points with Rangers in the race for second place.
Others, including many inside Fir Park who continue to toe the party line, see victory as a means of restoring the vital 11 point gap between in-form United and Well in the race for third.
Given the prize at stake for finishing third, a Champions League qualifying spot, it's understandable why those at Motherwell urge caution when outsiders claim it's possible the Old Firm can be split come the end of the season.
If Motherwell failed to finish second it would not represent a disaster.
Failure to finish third however, having occupied that position for virtually the whole season, would.
The Steelmen were hugely disappointed not to make it past Aberdeen in their Scottish Cup quarter-final clash last week but have shown incredible resilience to bounce back from signs of flagging on a number of occasions this season.
Four times they have secured three points in their very next game after defeats .
And when suspension and injury left them with an untried, inexperienced central defensive partnership for this game, many a Well fan would have taken a point before kick-off.
However, Jonathan Page, 22, and teenage debutant Adam Cummins stuck to their task manfully against Scott Vernon and Rory Fallon who had caused Motherwell's back four plenty of problems six days earlier.
Highly-rated 18-year-old Stuart Carswell was drafted into midfield following Keith Lasleys ordering off in the cup clash and he showed why Stuart McCall gave him a contract extension in February until the summer of 2014 with an assured display.
However, it was a member of the old guard who proved to be the goalscoring hero for Motherwell.
Stand-in skipper Steve Hammell thrashed home a spectacular 30-yard thunderbolt on 22 minutes the only goal of the game.
What's more Motherwell had to battle hard with ten men for ten minutes in the second half when Steve Jennings took a nasty head knock and had to go off for some lengthy treatment.
The Scouser epitomised Motherwell's determination and will to win when he came back on bandaged and bloodied to a great ovation.
Winger Chris Humphrey has been left warming the bench for much of this season but he started on Saturday and was Motherwell's most potent attacking force on the left flank.
And once again unsung hero Darren Randolph was at his very best between the sticks producing a fine save in the second half to deny Scott Vernon's volley at point blank range.