Nelson Haedo Valdez scored twice as Hercules beat fellow promoted side Levante 3-1 in the Primera Division to move five points clear of the relegation zone after 13 rounds of matches.
The Paraguay forward gave Hercules the lead six minutes before the interval with a close-range finish after Levante keeper Manuel Reina had parried Olivier Thomert's header.
The visitors hit back straight away at the other end through Ruben after good work from Xisco Nadal to leave the scores level at the break.
But Hercules were far the better side following the restart and went back in front after 62 minutes, when Reina spilled Tiago Gomes' effort and the ball fell to David Trezeguet for a simple finish.
And five minutes later it was all over as a contest when Valdez scored the third for the Alicante-based outfit.
Noe Pamarot brought the ball out of defence and fed Tote, whose cross found Valdez at the far post and the South American stooped low to send a neat header past Reina and put the home side out of reach.
Hercules were without wing-back Royston Drenthe, who was left out by coach Esteban Vigo to recover fully from an oesophagus ulcer.
They were the better team virtually throughout and comfortably survived a late Levante fightback to win all three points in the regional derby and move five clear of the drop zone.
Levante, meanwhile, are now just one point above the relegation zone and have now lost five of their last six matches.