DABBERS boss Steve Davis has set his sights on promotion places after Nantwich banished a 12-game derby hoodoo to beat Newcastle Town 3-1.
The Jackson Avenue outfit have not beaten ex-manager Nigel Gleghorn's men in a dozen attempts, and were desperately unlucky to outplay the Staffordshire side only to lose 2-0 at the Lyme Valley Stadium last month.
But the Dabbers got revenge and outshone the promotion-favourites from start to finish. This time the result reflected the performance.
It leaves Nantwich able to go second in Division One if they win their two games in hand on Curzon Ashton. Davis will settle for no less. He said: 'The lads were simply magnificent.
'It was the best performance and result of the season and, baring in mind we haven't won that derby in 12 attempts and they are a bit of a bogey side for us, it was even better.
'We have raised the level of our performance and the new lads are gelling well with the likes of Matt Blake and Danny Griggs who were here last season. We can go second and that's what we are aiming for.'
Adam Beasley opened the scoring in the 37th minute on Friday, and Blake's neat finish on 75 looked to make the game safe. But Town hit back to set nerves jangling, before Mark Grice's 85th minute effort sealed it.
The Dabbers were huge odds on favourites for maximum points at home to struggling Stone Dominoes as the Chronicle went to press last night, and they travel to Glossop North End on Saturday.
Despite the excellent current form, Davis, who made his first start of the season against Newcastle, wants to bring in a defender and a striker to bolster his squad before the weekend. With the likes of James Marrow, Grice, Paul Taylor and Steve Roberts all injured, he feels more strength in depth is needed.
Meanwhile, Alsager Town are looking to challenge Nantwich for that second spot, but runaway leaders Skelmersdale are out of reach on 30 points.
A rocky start to the campaign appears to have evened out, and a 6-0 demolition of Stone Dominoes on Friday signalled the team's intention to mount a challenge.
Wayne Brotherton got his customary goal, while Richard Mitchell and Glyn Blackhurst weighed in. But it was the first goals for the club from Paul Rutter (2), a summer capture from Nantwich, and Scotsman Chris Budrys, which most pleased boss Greg Clowes.
He said: 'It was a good performance and, although Stone are finding it hard, they did make it difficult at times. We passed the ball well and they couldn't cope in the end.
'I was pleased that Paul and Chris got their first goals. Paul looked sharp and lively, and Chris is an old-fashioned centre forward, who is very physical and has a first class attitude. They will make competition for places very good.'
Numbers have been boosted in the defensive ranks through the capture of Ryan Dicker, from Leek Town. He is a tall left-footed player whom Clowes hopes can tighten things up at the back in time for the visit of Formby on Saturday and Tuesday's trip to Traf-ford.
He added: 'We have the same record as Nantwich Town and second place is in sight. We need to be in there. I have been unhappy with the amount of goals we have conceded, so hopefully Ryan will help stem that.'
Nantwich Reserves went three points clear at the top of the Reserves Division, thanks to a 1-0 win over Winsford courtesy of Steve Roberts. But the result was tarnished when Roberts sustained a triple fracture of the wrist which will keep him out of action for some time.