NEIL Harrison broke an ankle bone after only 15 minutes, a personal setback that somewhat overshadowed Winsford's own disaster.
The surroundings, with Kinder Scout providing a dramatic back drop, were perfect for Blues to maintain the pressure on their promotion rivals.
But everything went wrong, especially for Harrison.
They were without the injured Rob Hanley and Dave Chambers to begin with.
It was after a United attack that Harrison was spotted lying motionless having caught his foot awkwardly in the uneven surface. There was a 35-minute wait while the stricken midfielder was attended to and on the restart the visitors came out with all guns blazing.
Mark Quinn started the move that gave them the first goal when his pass sent Chris Melia on his way. He found Hopley out on the right and after shrugging off two defenders he crossed the ball to Chris Hutchinson who blasted home. Hopley was again the provider on 22 minutes when he found his way to the right by-line. His cross was cleared but only as far as Lee Hughes who found the the net from the edge of the box.
A long free kick put New Mills back in the match. With the defence was hesitant and new goalkeeper Karl Walton rooted to his line, Craig Hall scored with a glancing header.
The second half saw Winsford squander several chances with the main culprit being Hopley who, on one occasion only needed to square the ball to Will Hurley for a certain goal. Instead he tried to go alone and lost the chance.
Hughes was unlucky with a 60th minute shot that whistled over the bar. Hurley also had two good chances to clinch the match but New Mills custodian Steve Lyons saved both.
Nigel Booth was substituted on 61 minutes and the defence seemed to lose its composure leading to the Millers' equalising on 77 minutes. Once again it was a long free-kick into the box that was poorly defended, giving Craig Senior a simple header.
In 86 minutes Hall scored the goal that clinched matters. A quick free kick set him away down the left the left and he was given all the time in the world to tee up his shot and blast it home from the edge of the area.
Winsford did not give up, but the task of winning the game a second time was beyond them. UNITED: Walton; Stanton, Booth (Broadhead 61), Marsh, Wellstead; Melia, Quinn, Hutchinson, Harrison (Hurley 15); Hopley, Highes.
Star Man: Will Hurley, never gave up Next Best: Lee Hughes Team Rating: 3 Match Rating: 3