Despite only managing a 1-1 draw at Warrington Town on New Year`s Day, it ended up looking like a decent point for EVO-STIK Northern Premier League First Division North leaders Northwich Victoria, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.
That was because second-placed Darlington 1883 had their game at Kendal Town abandoned due to waterlogging, and third-placed Salford City were beaten at fourth-placed Droylsden.
Scott Metcalfe gave Warrington an early fifth minute lead at Cantilever Park against the Vics, whose Michael Roddy levelled in the 28th.
Danny Webber put Salford in front after just six minutes at the Butcher`s Arms but goals from Ben Deegan after 21 minutes and Ciaran Kilheeney after 39 minutes, turned the game in the Bloods` favour. Gareth Seddon did equalise a minute before half-time, only for Kilheeney to grab his second and Droylsden`s third on 57 minutes.
Scarborough Athletic are looking dangerous in fifth and they eased to a 4-0 win against Yorkshire rivals Brighouse Town in front of a crowd of just under 400 at Queensgate.
Veteran striker Gary Bradshaw opened Boro`s account after 22 minutes and less than two minutes later Alex Peterson made it 2-0. Midway through the second period Jimmy Ghaichem added a third and Jimmy Beadle a fourth with seven minutes remaining.
Farsley AFC maintained their top five challenge with a 4-2 derby win over in-form Harrogate Railway Athletic, for whom this was a first defeat in nine games.
But Rail were two-up with goals from Michael Morris after 22 minutes and Ron Youhill five minutes later. Andy Welsh reduced the deficit three minutes into the second half and then Gibraltar international Adam Priestley equalised in the 67th minute. Lewis Nightingale on 73 minutes and then Aiden Savory in injury-time, added the finishing touches.
Spennymoor Town, with games in hand on most above them, maintained their challenge with a 3-0 home win over Ossett Town in front of 480.
Liam Henderson gave the Moors a 14th minute lead that Shane Henry doubled on the half-hour mark – Kallum Griffiths making the game safe with a third right on half-time.
Padiham are nine points adrift of the safety-mark after going down to a 3-2 defeat at Seel Park to Mossley AFC.
The were beaten despite leading 2-0 to a brace from former Blackpool favourite Brett Ormerod after 41 and 52 minutes. Kyle McGonigle reduced the arrears on 57 minutes and then a brace from Sam Robinson after 69 and 80 minutes sealed the Lilywhites` win.
Garry Hunter`s 89th minute effort sealed Lancaster City`s 1-0 derby win at Clitheroe, while Ossett Albion condemned second-bottom New Mills to a 3-2 defeat at Dimple Wells.
Goals from Connor Bower after eight minutes, Adam Muller after 25 and Adam Jones in the 72nd out-gnning Danny Douglas-Pringle after 15 minutes and Porya Ahmadi just before the break for the Millers.
Matt Devine equalised nine minutes from time to earn Burscough a 1-1 draw at home to third-bottom Prescot Cables, whose boss Neil Prince had given them a 52nd minute lead, while Jack Hindle scored a stoppage time equaliser for Radcliffe Borough at Stainton Park against seventh-placed Bamber Bridge.
Earlier, Dave Sherlock had given Boro a 23rd minute lead that Ali Waddecar a minute before half-time and Paul McKenna on 65 minutes, had turned into a 2-1 lead.