Central's catch-up game with Souths on Wednesday night now has even more on offer for the Charlestown club.
With their season on the line and Lakes fighting back at St John Oval on Sunday, the Butcher Boys produced when it mattered most to jump off the bottom of the Newcastle Rugby League competition ladder and to move within striking distance of the top five.
Central defeated the Seagulls 24-14, scoring the first and last 12 points of the round 13 fixture, in what was their first of three matches in the space of seven days.
Next up the Butchers Boys travel to meet second-placed Souths at Townson Oval and a win would see them join Cessnock in equal fifth on 11 points.
The midweek encounter is followed by a visit from third-placed Maitland on Saturday.
Central coach Phil Williams said he was pleased to get through game one unscathed.
"They're already getting ready for the next one," Williams said. "It's a big week for us and that was the ideal way to start."
Cameron Anderson and Dom Murphy ran in tries eight minutes apart for Central and with Brad Murray's ensuing conversions the hosts were 12-0 ahead on the half-hour mark.
After the break Lakes landed back-to-back blows courtesy of Roman Fepuleai and an 80-metre effort from Emmanuel Sithole. Seagulls five-eighth Jack Kelly made no mistake with either conversion to level proceedings.
Central substitute Steven Leask was put on report in the 55th minute and Kelly put the visitors in front 14-12 with a penalty goal.
Five minutes later Murphy had the Butchers Boys back on top with his second try before Central winger Joshua Allison sealed the deal with a four pointer of his own.
"I thought we responded really well," Williams said.
Lakes winger Nicholas Worthington went to the sin bin in the second minute.
The Seagulls other winger Matthew Craig had a HIA in the 32nd minute and never returned.
Dylan Hartin, lock for the Belmont men, also took no further part in the match after suffering an early knee injury.
Elsewhere on Sunday and Western Suburbs opened up an almost unassailable lead at the top of the table with a 34-10 win against Cessnock at Harker Oval.
The visiting Goannas, the only team to beat Wests so far this season, scored tries either side of half-time but could only reduce the margin to 14 on each occasion.
Rosellas pair Ryan Walker and Blake Andrews both crossed for doubles.
Saturday's matches saw Kurri Kurri jump to fourth on the overall standings with a 24-18 win over South Newcastle at Townson Oval while Pickers fullback Greg Morris nabbed four tries in a 42-18 victory against Macquarie at Maitland Sportsground.
LADDER: Wests 22; Souths, Maitland 14; Kurri 12; Cessnock 11; Central 9; Macquarie, Lakes 8.