The former Barnsley and Halifax midfielder crashed a 20-yard effort in off the crossbar to earn the Minstermen maximum points on 84 minutes with the visitors’ only shot of the second half during a 2-1 triumph at second-bottom Southport.
Earlier, the Minstermen had fallen behind to Dion Charles’ eighth-minute penalty after away keeper Adam Bartlett had crashed into Sandgrounders midfielder David Morgan.
But the away team levelled just before half-time when home keeper Daniel Hanford denied former Harrogate Town striker Jake Wright twice, before Jordan Burrow followed up to blast in his fifth goal of the season from eight yards.
The victory means Collins has now won five and drawn three of his nine matches in charge, including almost two months as caretaker chief following the dismissal of Martin Gray.
Collins said: “I am so pleased with the players. Those type of wins dictate where you end up.”
Bradford Park Avenue went down at home to title hopefuls Kidderminster following two late Ed Williams goals.
After Luca Havern cleared James O’Connor’s header off the line, Avenue took a second-half lead when Conor Branson rifled in.
Oli Johnson then hit a post for the home team, but England C international Williams levelled with nine minutes left when he cut in from the right and curled into the bottom corner.
On 89 minutes, Williams settled matters with his tenth goal of the season, gliding past three players before finding the bottom corner again.
Guiseley, meanwhile, have won three consecutive home game for the first time since 2015 after sub Paul Clayton’s 88th-minute goal saw off Brackley 2-1.
Kingsley James gave the Lions an early lead on nine minutes when he swept in from the edge of the box.
But Luke Fairlamb levelled shortly afterwards, with a wind-assisted effort direct from a corner. Shaun Jeffers went on to hit an upright for Brackley, before Clayton scrambled in the winner after away keeper Danny Lewis had misjudged Curtis Morrison’s free kick.