AFC Rushden & Diamonds moved 10 points clear at the top of the ChromaSport & Trophies United Counties League Premier Division thanks to a 2-0 victory over Peterborough Northern Star at the Dog & Duck.
But it proved to be an afternoon for patience for Andy Peaks’ side as they struck late on to secure another crucial win in their bid for promotion.
Diamonds were unable to take one of the numerous chances they created in the opening period but finally broke the deadlock with 19 minutes to go when Russ Dunkley volleyed home a Declan Rogers free-kick.
Tom Lorraine had a goal ruled out but he did double the advantage on 82 minutes as Diamonds collected another success.
Desborough Town slumped to a 5-1 defeat at Boston Town in what proved to be the Ryan Oliver show.
The home side’s new signing opened the scoring before Michael Byrne equalised on the half-hour.
But Oliver completed his hat-trick before half-time to put the hosts in control and they sealed a comfortable win thanks to second-half goals from Tim Lowe and Aaron Eyett.
The performance of the day in Division One came at Chancery Lane as Thrapston Town hammered in seven second-half goals in their 9-1 demolition of Buckingham Town.
Richard Scott’s team were in control at the break thanks to Dan Bucciero’s opener and a goal from Chris Hope just before half-time.
But the floodgates opened once Jack Wisniewski had made it 3-0 two minutes into the second period.
Leigh Chapman grabbed the fourth before the Cory James show began with his quick-fire brace making it 6-0.
Dom Schembre scored a consolation for Buckingham but Thrapston stormed back again as James made it a personal tally of four in 23 minutes while Bucciero also added his second of the game to help seal an incredible win.
Whitworth remain in the hunt for one of the promotion places after a 2-0 success at Bourne Town.
Cavell Jarvis’ 20th goal of the season gave the Flourmen a half-time lead and the victory was confirmed late on courtesy of Deven Ellwood.
Burton Park Wanderers moved out of the bottom two as they claimed just their third win of the season at fellow strugglers St Neots Town Saints.
The decisive moment came nine minutes before half-time as Curtis Taylor-Jacob grabbed the only goal of the game.