New signing Michael Byrne made an instant impact for Sileby Rangers as he scored the only goal in their 1-0 win over Oadby Town in the big match in UCL Division One.
It was second verus top in Leicestershire, and it was the top dogs Sileby that extended their points advantage to five thanks to Byrne’s decisive header on 37 minutes.
AFC Rushden & Diamonds stayed in the title shake up as they enjoyed a 5-0 win over Wootton thanks to a Jake Newman hat-trick and singles from Alex Deakin and Elliott Dent.
Diamonds are two points behing Oadby and seven adrift of Sileby, with all three teams having played 17 games.
Fourth-placed Eynesbury are a further point back on Diamonds after they beat Harrowby 1-0.
Bugbrooke have games in hand on the top four but lost ground as they were held to a 2-2 draw at Bourne.
Tom Waumsley’s penalty on his Wakes debut had the home side in front at the break before quick fire goals from Jamie Jollands and Ryan Waldock turned the game the Badgers’ way at the start of the second half.
John Currall earned Bourne their point.
There was another stalemate at ON Chenecks where the outcome was a 1-1 draw with Buckingham who picked up their first point under new manager Neil Griffiths.
Joel McCormick’s first half penalty for the Robins was cancelled by another spot kick from Adam Hancock after the break.
Elsewhere, there was a rare win for Olney at Whitworth, a Mark Whittle double and Sam Parrish effort giving the Nurserymen a 3-1 success, Paul Smith scoring the Flourmen consolation.
Raunds picked up a first win in eight beating bottom club Burton Park 2-1 at Kiln Park, Gavin Fitzgerald and George Westley on target for the Shopmates and Matt Redding for Park Wanderers.
In the premier division, there were defeats for both Cogenhoe United and Long Buckby.
The Cooks were beaten 1-0 at leaders Holbeach, while Huntingdon proved to be too big and strong for a young Long Buckby side as they eased to a 4-0 win.
Elsewhere, second-placed Spalding started with a 4-1 success at Newport Pagnell while St Ives won 3-1 at Deeping.
Quorn’s promotion challenge looks all but over after a 3-0 reverse at lowly Sleaford who took the points thanks to a six minute hat trick from Liam Tunstall leading up to the hour mark.
Two goals from Kevin Byrne in the first 11 minutes gave Desborough a 2-1 verdict at Blackstones who replied through Addie Staffieri.
Yaxley and Shepshed played out a thrilling 3-3 draw at In2itive Park. Two Scott Carter goals, the second a penalty, and one from Chris Lenton gave the Cuckoos a three goal interval lead but Dynamo fought back to earn a point through Liam Tuck, Rob Mulonga and Steve Chaplin.
Boston Town extended their winning run to five games with a 4-0 home defeat of bottom markers Irchester. Josh Ford’s penalty set the ball rolling with Jason Field, Ollie Maltby and Mark Foster also netting.
In the NFA Junior Cup semi-finals, Rushden & Higham beat league rivals Rothwell Corinthians 2-0 at Hayden Road with second half strikes from Craig Lawman and Aaron Cormack.
The Russians will contest an all-UCL final against Cogenhoe United Reserves, who beat Northants Combination Premier Division side Brixworth 4-1 after extra time at Compton Park.