KARL Marginson's side mimicked the other United with a less than convincing display in a 1-0 win over Squires Gate at Tameside Stadium, but still went three points clear at the top of the table.
The Rebels had to rely on a second half penalty by Nicky Platt for the win.
Manager Marginson said: "If you are going to win the league, sometimes you have to win when you are not playing well.
"We saw it with United against Liverpool last week."
Playing against a team they hammered 8-0 in October, FC United were always in control but found it heavy going from the start on what was a sandy pitch.
"I think they brought the beach with them," added Marginson. "We were a bit lethargic and they have brought in a lot of big players since October."
FC United struggled to make any impact in the first half and played their brightest football in the 15 minutes after the interval. Rhodri Giggs hit the bar and Rory Patterson created a couple of half chances.
It was Patterson who was fouled in the box for the penalty on 57 minutes as he tried to wriggle through the Squires Gate defence. On Thursday, FC United face Congleton in the Challenge Cup semi-final at Witton Albion.