Salford City hold a four-point lead at the top of the Vanarama National League North table following a 4-1 win against play-off chasing Blyth Spartans at The Peninsula Stadium on Tuesday night.
And with second-placed Harrogate Town also winning, it was a crucial three points for the Ammies.
However, it was the visitors, battling for a place in the top seven, who took the lead after 20 minutes when good work from Jarrett Rivers found Sean Reid, who slid in to turn the ball home from close range.
Salford got themselves back on level terms a minute before half-time when Nick Haughton picked up the ball and fired past Peter Jameson from 15 yards out.
Five minutes into the second half though came the defining moment of the match when the Ammies were awarded a controversial penalty when Nathan Buddle was adjudged to have brought down Mani Dieseruvwe in the box – a decision made by an assistant.
After a lengthy delay, Tom Walker kept his cool to make it 2-1 from the resulting spot-kick
Blyth boss Alun Armstrong was sent to the stands after `discussions` with the referee over the decision.
Antony Dudley made it 3-1 from close range 8 minutes later and a Liam Hogan header took a massive deflection off Reid to wrong-foot Jameson and make it 4-1 just past the hour-mark and kill the game off as a contest.
Harrogate’s seven-match home winning run came to an end following a 2-1 defeat to another top seven contender, Spennymoor Town.
At the end of an uneventful first 45, Harrogate`s Leeds United loanee Liam Kitching was shown a straight red card for a rash challenge on Rob Ramshaw.
Moors made their numerical advantage count 9 minutes into the second half when James Curtis headed a corner into the back of the net.
Nine minutes later Andrew Johnson capitalised on a defensive slip to make 2-0, and although Mark Beck replied 7 minutes from time, the home side couldn’t find a leveller.
Buildbase FA Trophy finalists Brackley Town showed no signs of a hangover as they maintained third place, five points behind Harrogate with two games in hand, following a comfortable 4-1 win at St James`s Park over a Boston United side who are still looking over their shoulder at the bottom end of the table.
The Pilgrims held their own for long spells but conceded three times in an 8-minute spell to lose to a Saints side unbeaten at home so far this season.
Shepherd Murombedzi broke the deadlock after 71 minutes, and that was swiftly followed by Jordan Nicholson 4 minutes later, Aaron Williams 3 minutes after that and then James Armson 4 minutes into stoppage time – a minute after Jordan Keane scored a spectacular consolation for the Pilgrims, who are five points above the drop zone.
Kidderminster Harriers moved four points clear of eighth-placed Blyth in the top seven race after a 2-0 win at the Impact Arena against an Alfreton Town side who are just three points above the drop zone.
Joe Ironside broke the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half.
And it was former Alfreton favourite Dan Bradley who doubled the visitors advantage with 19 minutes remaining.
All that after a quiet first half which had been fairly even.
York City are level on points with Harriers and inflicted a damaging blow to visiting Southport`s outside play-off hopes with a dramatic 3-2 win at Bootham Crescent.
Goals from Alex Kempster after 9 minutes and Aidan Connolly right on the stroke of half-time appeared to have the Minstermen in command at the break.
But Jason Gilchrist, who netted from an initially saved penalty after 78 minutes, and then Elliott Osborne in the 86th minute brought Port back on level terms with just 4 minutes remaining.
However, sub James Gray grabbed a stoppage time winner with his first senior goal for York.