THE Rustics ended a worrying run of four straight defeats with a victory that featured a brilliant individual goal from Calum Gallie.
Rusthall have been slipping down the Southern Counties East Premier Division and needed a win against a Rochester United side that look set to finish in the bottom two.
The visitors, who were boosted by a full-strength squad, should have been awarded a penalty on 36 minutes as Steve Smith was bundled in the area but referee Rob Columb awarded a free kick just outside the area and Jon Sebbar launched it over the bar.
The contest was goalless at half-time but Rusthall took a deserved lead three minutes into the second half with a stunning goal.
Calum Gallie won the ball on the edge of his own penalty area and went on a run past halfway, beating three players before -unleashing a left-foot shot from the corner of the area that went in off the far post with the keeper not even having time to move.
Two minutes later the lively Smith nearly made it 2-0 but his header from a Steph HarperÂ cross was well saved by the home keeper.
Rusthall looked as if they would go on to win the game comfortably but were rocked on 66 minutes when Rochester grabbed an equaliser through Moses Ashikodi.
But this side has character and regained the lead just three minutes later when a smart interchange set Ryan Waterman going down the right and his cross was met by Smith who made no mistake from eight yards out.
Rusthall continued to dominate but were unable to kill off the game with a third goal and were nearly made to pay on 85 minutes when the home side hit the bar with a header.
The Rustics now have a 12-point cushion between them and the bottom two.
They have a tough game at home to Sheppey United on Saturday (December 9, kick-off 3pm).Â
GO SOLO Calum Gallie ran from one box to the other to score