FC United stepped up their Evo-Stik Premier promotion push with a 2-1 victory over Matlock at Stalybridge Celtic's Bower Fold ground.
But the Rebels made hard work of a win which takes them up to sixth place above Marine.
FC's early dominance was rewarded as they stormed into a 13th minute lead when visiting defender Laurence Gaughan turned the ball into his own net in attempting to stop Carlos Roca's low cross from reaching the lurking Mike Norton.
And Karl Marginson's men appeared to be cruising when they doubled their advantage shortly after the half-hour mark through Matthew Wolfenden.
But United were never as convincing in the second-half as they had been in the first and were punished when Ian Holmes reduced the arrears on 62 minutes.
Matlock pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages but the nervy Rebels held on to stretch their unbeaten league run to six games.
Meanwhile, Ashton United climbed six places to eighth as they clocked up their fifth successive league win in crushing visiting Chasetown 4-0 with George Melling (19 mins), Mark Peers (27), Ian Bennett (45) and Aaron Burns (51, pen) scoring.
Ramsbottom wasted a golden opportunity to return to the top of the North West Counties League as they tumbled 2-1 at lowly AFC Liverpool.
Tony Glennon March 01, 2012