Mamadou Samassa scrambled home a deserved winner for Valenciennes in stoppage time in a 1-0 win against Nancy at the end of a match in which their dominance looked set to go unrewarded.
The home side hit the crossbar in the first half through Brazilian defender Gil and were thwarted in the second by Massadio Haidara’s goal-line clearance and the excellence of goalkeeper Guy N’Dy Assembe.
But Samassa popped up at the last to stab the ball home and earn his side three points to ease them further away from the relegation zone.
Gil and Vincent Aboubakar both failed to take good chances early on before the former went closer still in the 13th minute. Foued Kadir’s free-kick was not properly cleared and Gil lashed the loose ball against the bar.
The remainder of the first half was a quiet affair, with Kadir volleying Gael Danic’s cross over the bar in one of the few chances of note.
The second half was largely one-way traffic, starting when defender Andre Luiz and Assembe kept out volleys from Aboubakar and Rudy Mater.
Nancy’s best chance came when Loosemy Karaboue fired inches over, but the visitors were otherwise penned back.
Pape Abdou Camara shot into the side-netting and Assembe had to save brilliantly with his fingertips to prevent Aboubakar opening the scoring.
Aboubakar thought he had made the breakthrough when he dribbled past Andre Luiz and Assembe before sliding the ball goalwards, but Haidara tracked back to save the day.
Assembe kept out Aboubakar’s deflected shot but the breakthrough finally arrived in stoppage time. Mathieu Dossevi seized on a weak clearance by Joel Sami and his cross led to a goalmouth scramble in which Samassa got the crucial final touch.