There were five games in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday night and all had significance at either end of the table.
Leaders Salford City made the trip across to take on the team on the verge of being the first team to be confirmed as being relegated at the top end of the non-League Pyramid, North Ferriby United.
Until last weekend`s 6-0 thrashing at Darlington, the Villagers had shown signs of recovery, but all too little too late.
As expected, the Ammies started on the front foot and looked dangerous.
However, the game turned on the half-hour mark when the visitors had IBou Touray sent-off for a late challenge on Paul Robson.
Nine minutes later though, it was the ten-men who broke the deadlock when Ferriby`s defence failed to clear Jack Redshaw`s cross and Anthony Dudley got the final touch before it crossed the line.
The second half saw the hosts have numerous opportunities to equalise and had several efforts cleared off the line.
It looked as though it was going to be the leaders` night, until the 86th minute when as sweeping move finished with subs Alex Bannister and James Nicholls combining for the latter to hammer the ball past new keeper Tim Erlandsson from 18 yards.
A draw was the least North Ferriby deserved, and although it wasn`t enough to prevent them being confirmed as being relegated, that fact was inevitable a few weeks back.
Two dropped points for Salford though could be just as damaging come the end of the season.
The two other teams in the bottom three were also in action on Tuesday, and with mixed results.
AFC Telford United gained a vital 1-0 win at the Impact Arena against an Alfreton Town side who are now just a point in front of third-bottom Bucks.
What proved to be the only goal of a nervy encounter came after just 12 minutes when Telford`s on-loan Burton Albion striker Marcus Dinanga fired home.
Alfreton had their chances to equalise – especially in the second half – but the Bucks held firm to earn three vital points and put them level with Curzon Ashton, who occupy fourth-bottom spot.
Second-bottom Gainsborough Trinity were also in action as they travelled to play an FC United of Manchester side who were also in need of the points to avoid getting sucked further towards the relegation zone.
In front of 1,557, what proved to be the only goal of this game came in the 16th minute when player-manager Tom Greaves did well to get the ball across for Craig Lindfield to score.
Trinity had their chances and had a goal disallowed, but FC United held firm to move four points clear of the drop zone and leave Trinity three points below the safety-mark.
Stockport County moved back into the play-off places after also winning 1-0 at Edgeley Park against a Boston United side who have now gone five games without a win and are once more having to look over their shoulders at the bottom three, being only three points better off than AFC Telford.
It looked as though the Pilgrims were going to frustrate the majority in the 2,244 crowd, until Matt Warburton’s goal 4 minutes from time sentenced them to defeat.
The Hatters replaced Spennymoor Town in the top seven after they were beaten 3-1 at Victory Park by a Chorley side who are now ninth and level on points with their visitors.
The home side should have gone ahead in the 11th minute when Marcus Carver went through one-on-one with the Spennymoor keeper, but he somehow missed the target from close range.
Seven minutes later though, Matt Jansen`s side did go ahead when Carver made amends for his earlier miss by scoring from far further out!
And just 2 minutes later, Carver was at it again, chasing another through ball before slotting home.
Moors responded well in the second half and it came as little surprise when they managed to reduce the deficit on the hour-mark, although it was courtesy of Chorley`s Andy Teague, who converted Shane Henry’s cross into his own net from close range.
Chorley made sure of the points though with 9 minutes remaining when Josh O’Keefe turned the ball in after a good run and cross from Alex Newby.