FC UNITED took another step towards the North West Counties League first division championship as they went nap against Abbey Hey.
But the Rebels have yet to shake off the threat of FA Vase semi-finalists Curzon Ashton.
Simon Carden's ninth minute strike was followed by two goals apiece from Stuart Rudd and Josh Howard as the Rebel Reds eased to a 5-1 victory which keeps them three points clear of Salford City, who had Jamie Baguley on target in a 1-0 win over Formby.
Steve Lester netted Abbey Hey's single reply.
But with Salford having four games more to play than Karl Marginson's men, it's fourth-placed Curzon who pose the only serious threat to FC United claiming their second successive title.
Wayne Cahill's hat-trick helped the Nash come from behind to crush rock- bottom Stone 4-1.
That win certainly keeps them in a strong position to pounce should FC United slip up in the run-in to the season.
Meanwhile, Curzon tonight warm up for Saturday's big Vase showdown with Truro City.
They will stage the first-leg of their League Challenge Cup semi-final against Flixton at Tameside Stadium. The game will kick-off at 7.45pm.