Westmeath picked up their second victory of the league, after a narrow two-point win over Fermanagh, in TEG Cusack Park.
Westmeath played with 14 men from the 47th minute onward, as key forward Luke Loughlin was shown a second yellow card, but the home side did well to grind out the win.
It was a poor spectacle for the neutrals, as both sides set up defensively, but Westmeath will care little, as one more win from the next four games should guarantee their safety.
Westmeath started the game very strongly, scoring the first five points of the game, with John Heslin (2), Ronan O'Toole, David Lynch and Callum McCormack finding the target, before Conall Jones opened Fermanagh’s account.
Points from Heslin and Ray Connellan followed, as the Lake County went into the interval with a 0-7 to 0-1 advantage.
A free from Heslin opened the second half scoring, though Fermanagh responded with three points in succession to reduce the deficit to four.
A point from Connellan settled the hosts, before Loughlin was shown a second yellow card after a foul on Eoin Donnelly.
Points from Ryan Jones (2) and Aidan Breen left just two between the teams, but Heslin’s fifth free gave Jack Cooney’s side breathing space.
Fermanagh squandered numerous opportunities late on and Conall Jones’s 70th minute free was little more than consolation, as Westmeath held out for a two-point win.
Westmeath now face Armagh in their next game in two weeks time, while Fermanagh are at home to Cavan on Saturday week.
Westmeath: Jason Daly; Jack Smith, Ronan Wallace, Boidu Sayeh; Paddy Holloway, Kevin Maguire, James Dolan; Denis Corroon, Ray Connellan (0-02); Killian Daly, Ronan O’Toole (0-01), David Lynch (0-01); Callum McCormack (0-01), John Heslin (0-05, 0-05f), Luke Loughlin.
Subs: Sam Duncan for McCormack (53), Anthony McGivney for Holloway (68), Tommy McDaniel for O’Toole (70 + 2).
Fermanagh: James McGrath; Jonny Cassidy, Eoin Shiels, Kevin McDonnell; Declan McCusker, Daragh McGurn, Shane McGullion (0-01); Eoin Donnelly, Ryan Jones (0-02); Aidan Breen (0-02), Ultan Kelm. Ciaran Corrigan; Stephen McGullion (0-01), Conall Jones (0-02, 0-02f), Lorcan McStravick.
Subs: Daniel Teague for McStravick (23), Mark McCauley for Sheils (57), Eoin McManus for McDonnell (61), Niall Cosgrove for McGurn (68).
Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan)