Northwich Vics 4 Farsley Celtic 0
Vics gave themselves a fighting chance of beating relegation as they dragged Farsley back into the survival battle on Saturday.
A team that has blown hot and cold in recent weeks turned up the heat in a biting wind with finishing power Farsley must have envied.
The desperation felt by both teams made for an exciting end to end opening, but once Northwich were in front there was no stopping them.
Ex-Vics man Rory Prendergast brought a brilliant save from Scott Tynan and in the next attack Curtis Aspden was on top form to deny Lee Steele.
Darren Stamp almost poached the first goal and then it was back to the other end and further heroics from Tynan, who fingertipped away a shot from Damien Reeves.
All that was in the first 10 minutes and with the game held up for lengthy treatment to the Vics goalkeeper, who eventually left the action, the game settled down and it was the home side who proved superior.
Aspden did well to stop Joel Byrom’s long ranger and then block Stamp’s effort as he went for the rebound.
But in the 40th minute Vics forged ahead. Steele hit the ball across the box to beyond the far post for Ryan Brown to turn back into the six yard area, isolating Aspden as he did so and making scoring easy for Stamp.
In injury time Matt Crowell belted a 25 yarder than never rose more than two feet off the ground and left Aspden's own two feet rooted to the spot.
After the resumption it was all Vics and substitute Ben Connett was never threatened as he headed for his first clean sheet of the season, albeit in his first league appearance since early October.
In the 66th minute Crowell whipped a quick free kick forward from the half-way line and Steele scuttled goalside of the defence to pull the back for Mike Byrne to turn home.
A fourth goal for Vics was far more likely than a rally from Farsley, though it did not arrive until the 90th minute.
Mike Welch, playing in a rigid mask to protect a cracked cheek bone, played a firm header forwards from midfield which caught the Celtic defence flat footed. Steele raced away to belt the ball past Aspden.
Vics: Tynan (Connett 31); Meadowcroft, Belle, Welch; Mullan, Byrne, Byrom’s, Crowell, Brown (Horrocks 87); Stamp (Burns 75), Steele.