IT might not have been quite in the 'must-win' category - but Monday night's 14-point victory over the Lakeside Hammers certainly gave the Buildbase Bees' play-off chances a major boost.
Bees are now up to third place in the table, and although the Hammers have home matches in hand, the pressure is now stacked on Peterborough to produce some away wins - and Bees themselves have road trips to come which they will be optimistic of taking good results.
One of the defining features of the title-winners of 2007 was their ability to not run last places, and this meeting was almost a throwback to those days as home riders were left at the back on just three occasions.
Their riders were clearly more comfortable in difficult conditions, particularly in the first ten races or so, with the track having taken on a great deal of water during a Sunday soaking and another torrential mid-afternoon deluge on Monday.
That meant the racing was not in the classic category, unfortunate for the television viewers and spectators alike, especially following the run of thrilling contests in recent home matches.
But the conditions were there to be ridden, and the Bees made a better job of doing that even though Lee Richardson held off the challenge of Chris Harris to win Heat 1 with Filip Sitera protecting a shared race by re-passing a clearly unhappy Joonas Kylmakorpi.
Heat 2 was re-started after Stuart Robson took a tumble on the first bend, and in the re-run it was Robert Mear who led for the first half-lap until getting things wrong on turns three and four and dropping to the back, allowing Ben Barker into the lead and Ricky Wells into third place for a Coventry 4-2.
And the Bees' unusually good start continued with maximum points in Heat 3 as Edward Kennett led from the tapes and Olly Allen took advantage of a third-lap error from Piotr Swiderski to move into second place.
Jonas Davidsson won Heat 4 impressively for the Hammers, but Robson's early battle with birthday boy Wells ended when he fell on the fourth bend, Wells skirting around the outside to pick up a point - and with Kennett lowering Richardson's colours in Heat 5, Bees were already eight points to the good.
Davidsson missed the gate in Heat 6 as Sitera made a good one, Harris holding back in second place to allow his partner to maintain the lead, and even if it hadn't been remotely pretty, Bees were 24-12 up.
The main question then became the issue of when the Hammers would use their tactical rides, but nobody donned black and white in either Heat 7 or 8, both of which were won by visiting riders!
Bees could have been vulnerable in either race, as Swiderski got himself set up to win the former, and a possible 5-1 turned into a 3-3 when on successive laps Nieminen was overtaken by Martin Smolinski and Barker.
The Hammers did gain a 5-1 in Heat 8 after Sitera, having overtaken Robson, made the mistake of going in too narrow on turn three when trying to dive inside a fast-starting Kylmakorpi, and shot across the track to give Robson the chance to re-pass.
That put the lead down to eight points, but it was quickly 12 again with Allen and Kennett launching from the start in Heat 9 to defeat Davidsson and leave the tactical window open again.
This time Swiderski did take the double-pointer in Heat 10, and the move was successful at least in terms of the Pole's race win - but again Nieminen was unable to hold position from a promising start, as Harris and Sitera shot past him in short order.
And a nine-point lead at that stage was not bad news for Bees as it prevented Richardson from taking a Heat 11 tactical ride - not that it would have done the Hammers much good because he was sluggish from the start in Heat 11, outgated by both Smolinski and Barker who romped to a popular 5-1 as Richardson ground to a halt after one lap.
Robson then made a good start in Heat 12 only to throw it away with a first-bend fall, leaving the way clear for Allen to take the win over Nieminen, who appeared much happier with conditions which had improved after an interval track-grade.
Richardson's tactical ride in Heat 13 rather summed things up as far as the Hammers were concerned, because whilst Davidsson rode a superb race to hold off Harris, Richardson was left battling closely for third with Smolinski, who eventually fell on the last bend as he tried one last effort.
Lakeside were left needing a 5-1 and a 4-2 from the last two heats to salvage a point, but it was hard to see it happening - and the task was beyond them when Kennett kept his run going by defeating Swiderski in Heat 14, with Barker in third place and Robson completing a disastrous night of falls by coming down again on turn three.
Kennett was going for his first Coventry maximum in Heat 15 and had the outside gate just as against Poole on Friday, but this time he didn't quite make the start and was squeezed wide by Davidsson, and from then on Kennett was kept at bay throughout the race by Swiderski, with Harris away at the front and underlining the improvement by clocking easily the fastest time of the night.
An eventful month therefore comes to a winning end, and the Bees therefore have their play-off prospects very much in their own hands ahead of three home and four away matches as they look to extend their league season - and they have the Knockout Cup to go for too.