Albion Park coach Paul Carter has all but conceded the title race, as they prepare for Sunday's crucial IPL showdown with finals rivals Corrimal.
The White Eagles edged past the rejuvenated Cringila on Friday, striker Cameron Morgan scoring the winner with 20 minutes remaining.
It kept Park seven points behind runaway leaders Wollongong Olympic, who gave Woonona a start and a beating at Ocean Park, winning 7-2 on Saturday.
The Sharks opened the scoring in the 28th minute through Khalid Alali, but Olympic had a 3-1 advantage by half-time.
Julian Minutillo and John Martinovski each finished with doubles, meaning a winner in the Albion Park-Corrimal showdown will be only team left with any optimistic hope of reeling Olympic in.
"Realistically, it's theirs to lose," Carter said.
"They've lost two games all season and we're asking them to drop at least two or three on the run in, so we've just got to focus on staying above the chasing pack in the finals race. Cringila have been playing really well with the changes Stuart Beedie has made, so we knew it would be a danger game for us and I'm very happy to have the three points.
"I would have liked to be four or five points ahead of where we are right now, but I still think our best is yet to come this year as well."
Relegation-threatened Fernhill secured an important point against Bulli, while South Coast United sealed a draw on Saturday night to continue Wollongong United's frustrating month.
Corrimal have been dragged into the backlog of IPL games, after Sunday's clash with Coniston was postponed due to the state of the Memorial Park pitch as a result of recent rain.
Rangers will now tackle Coniston, who have their finals hopes on a knife-edge, on Tuesday night, while Wollongong United meet Woonona, in a catch-up game next week.
Meanwhile, Tarrawanna finished with 10 men, but salvaged a draw, after Matthew Naylor converted from the penalty spot, but Stephen Lloyd was sent off in a 1-all draw with Port Kembla.
Round 16: CORRIMAL v CONISTON at Memorial Park (8.15pm)
Ladder: Wollongong Olympic 38 (+23), Albion Park 31 (+11), Corrimal* 27 (+19), Tarrawanna 26 (+11), Woonona* 23 (-10), Wollongong United* 22 (+5), Bulli 21 (0), Port Kembla 21 (-1), Coniston* 19 (+2), Cringila 14 (-17), South Coast United 11 (-20), Fernhill 10 (-23).
While you're with us the Illawarra Mercury is offering sport readers 20% off an annual digital subscription. Sign up to stay up to date with all the local sports you love for only $3 a week. Terms and conditions apply.