Horncastle Town highlighted their title credentials with a deserved 2-0 win against Skegness United at The Wong on Saturday.
Midfielder Richard Jackson gave Town the lead with a penalty and Michael Harness then rounded off the victory with his 14th goal of the campaign.
The win - in front of a 200-strong crowd - moved Town level on points with United in the race for the Sills and Betteridge title.
Defending champions Skegness Town are three points clear of ’The Wongers’ but there’s everything to play for in the second half of the campaign.
Town spokesman Dale Johnson said: “It was a real workmanlike performance and the lads were delighted with the win.
“Skegness perhaps aren’t the side they once were but they are still something of a bogey team for us.
“It was a deserved win and the clean sheet was a definite bonus.
“We haven’t had too many of them this season.”
It was, of course, a major test of character for all Town’s players after the decision to remove the club from the Junior County Cup just 24 hours before kick off.
They came through with flying colours, though, and the back four of Nathan Rawdon, Chris Johnson, Steve Brown and Andrew Shinn earned particular praise.
Thanks to their efforts, ‘keeper Lewis Burchnall was rarely troubled with Shinn taking the man-of-the-match award.
Town went ahead in the first half when the always dangerous Tony Edwards was brought down in the box. Jackson made no mistake.
The all important second goal came just three minutes after the break when Edwards did well to set up Harness who found the back of the net from 12-yards.
With striker Mickey Stones leading the line bravely and Jackson pulling the strings, Town could have added to their lead but were happy to settle for a victory that moved them into second place.