Middlesbrough came to the Lane with no shortage of confidence off the back of Monday's win against Sunderland and, knowing how they can defend, the nightmare scenario would be to go a goal down.
That's exactly what happened in the first half but we continued to plug away, continued to do the right things and the rewards finally came via two goals in as many minutes from Teddy Sheringham and Les Ferdinand.
The first half was a frustrating affair as Boro grabbed the lead and set their stall out to keep it.
Nine minutes had gone when Paul Ince dinked in a free-kick aiming for Alen Boksic, Chris Perry failed to get the necessary purchase on his attempted clearing header and Boksic, eight yards out, volleyed high past Neil Sullivan.
Gus Poyet almost replied straight away but couldn't quite get hold of his volley and three minutes later Christian Ziege played a one-two with Sheringham only for Mark Schwarzer to hold on to his low shot as Ferdinand closed in for any mistake.
Mauricio Taricco, declared fit after an anke injury at Newcastle, saw plenty of the ball in the first half and his cross after 21 minutes was headed down by Ferdinand to Poyet but a slight deflection took his shot inches wide.
The best chance fell to Ferdinand after 34 minutes. Fine interplay from Anderton, Freund and Taricco led to Anderton playing in Ferdinand only for Ugo Ehiogu's last-ditch tackle to do enough to put the striker off.
Boro continued to defend deep, in numbers, after the break and the only question was whether or not we would break them down.
The answer was 'yes'. With 57 minutes on the clock Chris Perry joined the attack for the first time and his delightful pass to Taricco inside the otherwise impressive Franck Queudrue led to contact in the area and a penalty.
Sheringham, cool as you like, side-footed home and you could sense the game was about to change.
What turned out to be the winner arrived three minutes later. Taricco was involved again, this time his cross flicked on by Poyet and Ferdinand pounced at the far post to volley home.
Ziege almost followed up with the goal of the season - a first time, looping volley that hit the top of the bar - as we enjoyed our best spell.
Ehiogu volleyed Marrinelli's corner over after 65 minutes but apart from a few magic moments from Boksic, Boro found it difficult to break down a defence with Dean Richards and Perry outstanding.
Boro continued to push on as Steve McClaren introduced Dean Windass but Steffen Freund broke up play time after time and the likes of Anderton, Poyet and Sheringham used the ball intelligently as the clock ran down.
A vital win and one that took us up to seventh at close of play.
After fine displays against Derby County and Newcastle this had 'after the Lord Mayor's show' written all over it but, to the delight of another packed house at the Lane, Glenn Hoddle's men showed they can grind out a result as well as play the football everyone wants to see.