Nelson are up to third in the North West Counties Premier Division table following a 4-2 win over lowly Alsager Town at Woodland Court.
The Admirals had temporarily climbed in to second spot, behind rivals Barnoldswick Town, but Runcorn Linnets’ 4-0 thumping of Abbey Hey midweek altered the complexion slightly.
Manager Mark Fell made three changes from the side that drew with Squires Gate as Aaron Wilson, Andrew Bell and Peter Wright making way for Phil Doughty, Dave Sherlock and Ryan Charnley. Meanwhile Sam Livesey, signed on loan from Salford City, was named among the substitutes.
Richard Mercer headed a Kevin Leadbetter corner narrowly wide early on before the Blues midfielder was thwarted by the legs of goalkeeper Kyristian Burzynski after breaching Town’s rearguard.
At the other end Harry Clayton’s effort flashed past Ben Woodhead’s far post.
Leadbetter was denied by Burzynski again on the quarter-of-an-hour mark while Charnley’s audacious effort from distance five minutes later just cleared the bar.
However, the Blues paid for their profligacy when Mercer’s untimely slip from Sherlock’s pass gifted Clayton possession and, following the chaos that ensued, he slipped the ball through Woodhead’s legs to make it 1-0.
The visitors, pressing for the equaliser had two more chances before the interval, both falling to Leadbetter.
However, his first effort dropped over the bar and the second went wide of the left upright.
Fell introduced Livesey after the break at the expense of Charnley and it took just five minutes for the change to have an impact on proceedings.
The debutant earned a free kick, which led to a corner, and from Leadbitter’s delivery Sherlock pounced from close range after Mercer flicked on.
After the leveller the away side piled on the pressure and Leadbetter proved the man of the hour as Nelson went ahead.
After the Liverpudlian struck the underside of the bar, Sherlock was hacked to the ground inside the box when looking to convert the rebound.
Leadbetter stepped up and dispatched the penalty to make it 2-1.
And within a minute the Blues extended their lead. Livesey capitalised on a poor back pass, the ball broke to Sherlock and the winger netted his second of the fixture when bending a beautiful effort in to the top corner.
The woodwork denied Sherlock his hat-trick with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after he cut inside on to his right foot, but the away side soon added a fourth regardless.
Warremn Beattie and Jake Lloyd combined in the build up and the latter picked out Livesey who capped an impressive bow with a goal.
Josh Crofts netted a well-taken consolation for the hosts, bending a right-footed effort in to the top corner with a minute of normal time remaining, but the Blues bagged the points to set up a huge derby against Barnoldswick Town at Victoria Park tonight (kick off 7-45 p.m.).