TORQUAY United stepped out for Kevin Nicholson's first away game in charge resplendent in all white as we locked horns with Southport.
It didn't take long for us to make an impact on this game as an early corner from Dan Butler found the head of Alex Fisher who made no mistake with less than a minute on the clock to plant the ball beyond Coughlin's despairing dive.
The goal gave United a real boost and shortly afterwards, Fisher won a free-kick in a promising position. The strike from Louis Briscoe was on target and cleared off the line by Davies. It appeared close but our appeals that it had crossed the line were waved away by the referee.
Another probing set-piece from Butler caused concern for our hosts, but the 'keeper was able to gather the ball ahead of Fisher who was lurking with intent.
United were restricting the home side to few opportunities in the opening exchanges, although Davies went close with a firm header from a corner that landed narrowly wide.
At the other end, a powerful low drive from Butler was saved by the legs of Coughlin, whilst Southport saw a corner half-cleared by Durrell Berry into the path of Joyce whose effort flew well over the crossbar.
There were a couple of stoppages in play which interrupted the flow of the game, but United were certainly good value for our lead as half-time approached.
The last action of the opening period saw Nathan Smith concede a free-kick which was pumped into the danger zone, but Nicholson was on hand to clear his lines.
It wasn't long before the half-time whistle signalled the end of the first half as we went in deservedly one goal to the good.
There was a good tempo to United's play at the beginning of the second half and some hard work from Fisher saw him force a poor clearance from Coughlin in the home goal as he closed him down well.
Skipper, Angus MacDonald was booked for a foul as Southport searched for a way back into the game.
A foul on Briscoe gave United a free-kick which Butler fired narrowly over. Then some neat play ended with James Hurst trying his luck with an effort that went wide of the target.
Tyrone Marsh was introduced into the action in place of Briscoe as player-manager, Kevin Nicholson, made his first change of the afternoon and it wasn't long before Shepherd Murombedzi took the place of Hurst.
A smart move by United ended with Marsh getting an opportunity to try his luck, but he delayed his strike too long and the home side were able to get men back to block.
There was a yellow card for Simon Heslop for a foul as we entered the final quarter-of-an-hour.
After a foul by MacDonald, the resulting free-kick from former Gull, Courtney Cameron, was pushed onto the woodwork by Fabian Spiess as United survived the scare.
Courtney Richards saw yellow for a deliberate handball and then Butler joined him in the referee's notebook as the clock ticked down with United looking resolute.
Substitute Marsh came agonisingly close to doubling our advantage when his effort hit the post late on but it mattered not as we secured our first win since August and the first of Kevin Nicholson's tenure as player-manager. What's more we also kept a clean sheet.
Now on to Woking... Together we are United!