FC United boss Karl Marginson refused to go overboard about the Rebels’ third home win in eight days.
Promotion-chasing United were frustrated by visiting Burscough until ace marksman Mike Norton finally spurred them into life by slotting home his 21st goal of the season 10 minutes after the re-start.
Jerome Wright then doubled FC’s advantage with a searing drive from nearly 30 yards out before they carelessly allowed sub John Cass to pull a goal back six minutes from time.
But Burscough’s hopes of pinching a point were quickly snuffed out as Carlos Roca struck to seal a 3-1 victory which lifts United to seventh in Evo-Stik Premier, just a point behind the lowest of the play-off places.
Marginson said: “We didn’t play anywhere near to the levels that we can, but we’ve still picked up three points and scored three times.
“We can definitely still finish in the top five if we can keep this run going.”
Elsewhere, Ashton United did nothing to ease their fans’ growing relegation concerns as they crashed 4-0 at Marine.
Garry Flitcroft’s Chorley suffered a major Evo-Stik North title set-back in losing 1-0 to leaders Chester in front of a huge Victory Park crowd of 3,223.
A late Steve Foster penalty gave Salford City a 1-0 win over visiting Ossett Albion, while Radcliffe scored three times in the last 10 minutes to secure a 3-2 win over Leigh Genesis.
Marvin McDonald and Andy Heald gave Leigh a 2-0 lead, but a Rob Flint own-goal followed by Alistair Brown and Craig Flower strikes saw Boro snatch the points in a dramatic finale.
There were wins, too, for Woodley and Witton Albion, but Mossley sank 4-0 at Skelmersdale.
Altrincham boss Ken McKenna’s rest cure worked wonders for his relegation threatened Robins as they breathed new life into their Blue Square Bet Premier survival mission with a thrilling 3-2 victory over visiting Kettering.
Stung by three successive defeats, McKenna cancelled training ahead of the clash with the Poppies and told his weary players to put their feet up in front of the telly.
And his gamble paid off with Alty playing with renewed vigour to come from behind and secure three precious points courtesy of on-loan defender Greg Young’s 88th-minute headed winner.
McKenna said: “You have to know when to give your players a break. We looked flat and tired in our previous game against Histon, so I called off training on Thursday and we’ve seen the benefits."
Alty went ahead on 22 minutes when Damian Reeves converted a penalty after Carl Piergianni had been bundled over by Brett Solkhon.
But the Robins were then punished for Reeves’ failure to convert two other gilt-edged chances as Kettering’s Jean-Paul Marna turned the game on its head with two superb long-range strikes inside four minutes immediately before the break.
The introduction of sub Wes Baynes sparked Altrincham’s comeback, with the midfielder taking just four minutes to make an impact when he fastened onto Nicky Clee’s cross to drill in an equaliser.
And McKenna’s decison to send on Michael Twiss was similarly rewarded as Kettering’s failure to track Young enabled the popular centre-half to power home a header from Baynes’ cross and send the Moss Lane faithful home happy.
Alty’s triumph takes them up one place to 22nd, although Hayes and Yeading’s win over Southport means the Robins remain three points adrift of safety.
Meanwhile, Stalybridge warmed up for their big Tameside derby date at Hyde tonight (7.45pm) by coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 at Corby.
Connor Jennings instigated the Bridge revival with a classy finish 15 minutes from time.
Phil Marsh then rescued a point with a late tap-in – his 16th Blue Square Bet North goal of the season.
Hyde’s game at Eastwood was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, as was Droylsden’s clash at Redditch.
But the Bloods are also due in action tonight for the visit of Hinckley.
Ryan Moran (2) and Lee Gaskell struck to give Ramsbottom a 3-1 home win over fellow Vodkat League Premier Division title hopefuls Winsford, whose defeat means New Mills stay top despite their game against Runcorn Linnets also being washed out. Chadderton stepped up their challenge for promotion from Division One with an impressive 3-2 victory over leaders AFC Blackpool.
February 21, 2011