Joseph Gaughan scored the only goal as Barnoldswick Town earned a superb 1-0 win at Runcorn Linnets on Saturday, denying the hosts the chance to move level on points with Colne.
Gaughan’s 13th goal of the season, six minutes after half-time, was enough to secure the three points for Stewart Airdrie’s side, who are ninth in the table, 10 points behind new leaders 1874 Northwich.
Northwich took over from Colne at the top on Saturday, though the Reds are a point behind with four games in hand.
A well-drilled Barnoldswick side stood firm under sever Linnets pressure, deserving their clean sheet.
Jordan Gidley, in particular, was in excellent form, rewarding the commitment and spirit of the defenders in front of him.
Despite the heavy rain, the game was never in doubt, with a drying overnight wind.
Town kept the hosts at arm’s length in the first half, staying compact and forcing Linnets to shoot from wide positions on an angle.
And shortly after the restart, when Barnoldwick got within sight of goal in a central area, they made the opportunity count.
The ball was well laid off for Gaughan, whose drive found the right corner.
With Barlick having something to hang onto, the home side stepped things up.
But Gidley was equal to everything Runcorn threw at him, saving well from Freddie Potter, Kurt Sherlock and Antony Hickey.
When the Town keeper was finally beaten, five minutes from time, Potter’s rasping long-range effort swerved late to hit the inside of the post, bouncing across the goal line to safety.
And in stoppage time, Potter was inches away from connecting with a cross when any kind of contact would have brought the equaliser.
But Town got the break their efforts deserved, and they are back in Runcorn tomorrow, this time to face Runcorn Town at Pavilions, kick-off 3 p.m.
Tuesday brings the West Riding County Cup Quarter-Final tie with Evo-Stik First Division North side Harrogate Town at their Wetherby Road Stadium, kick-off 7-45 p.m.
Barnoldswick Town: Gidley, Pollard, McEneaney, Airey, Moore, Barnes, Beckwith, Crorken, Simpson, Gaughan, Hargreaves. Subs: Crawshaw, Threlfall, Hodson, Airdrie, Gill.