Ten-man FC United continued their Evo-Stik Premier promotion charge with an ultimately comfortable 4-1 win over Frickley Athletic at Stalybridge Celtic’s Bower Fold on Wednesday night.
The Rebels had to dig deep for a victory, which extends their unbeaten run to 16 games after defender Karl Monroe was dismissed after conceding a 22nd minute penalty, which Ashley Burbeary dispatched.
But FC made light of their numerical disadvantage with Jerome Wright getting them back on terms seven minutes before the break when he rose at the far post to head home a Kyle Jacobs cross.
There was no stopping Karl Marginson’s men after Scott McManus nodded them in front early in the second-half with his first goal in a United shirt.
Skipper Mike Norton made it 3-1, taking his season’s tally to 30 in all competitions, before substitute Ben Deegan completed the scoring in the final minute.
FC’s triumph takes them back above Buxton into third and leaves them looking almost certain to secure a place in the play-offs.
They aim to take another big step towards that goal when they visit Chasetown at the weekend.
Meanwhile, Ashton United, who are surely now safe from any threat of relegation, head east to Whitby, while Northwich will hope to take a leaf out of FC United’s book when it’s their turn to entertain Frickley.
Curzon Ashton, buoyed by Monday’s victory over Evo-Stik North leaders and championship favourites Chester, can home in on a fourth successive appearance in the play-offs by beating visiting Durham.
Long-time Vodkat Premier frontrunners New Mills will move to within touching-distance of the title if they can defeat Padiham at Church Lane.