LINNETS boss Steve Carragher hailed captain Paul Scott for making all the difference as a thrilling win over New Mills took his team back top.
With Winsford United losing 3-1 at home to Chadderton, Runcorn leapfrogged their rivals to go two points clear in North West Counties League Division Two.
While Winsford still have four games in hand, Runcorn are ready to capitalise on any further slip-ups by the Barton Stadium men.
Paul Scott, who had missed the recent defeat at New Mills through injury, scored two goals from midfield in a typically dynamic display.
Carragher, whose side are next in action at home to Darwen on Saturday, March 31, said: 'Paul Scott was fantastic. We missed him against them away.
'Their captain Mike Ryan bossed it at their place but he had a good battle with Scotty here tonight.
'Scotty had the better of him in the second half when Jay Edwards also had a good go. They all did.'
Carragher admitted Runcorn's performance after the break was their best for a while.
He said: 'Some of the stuff second half was terrific.
'We were doing what we do best rather than doing too much at times in the wrong areas.
'A lot of teams in this league are decent going forward but have problems when you turn them around and we were looking to do that a bit quicker.'
Linnets twice relinquished a lead in a remarkable first nine minutes and the home side had their work cut out.
'The save by Robbie (Hol-croft) just before half-time was the turning point,' said Carragher.
'At the interval, we knew we had to win and by doing so we have put a big dent in New Mills' hopes.
'Not many teams can have put five past them this season and it could have been more.'
The Linnets manager is calling on his players to make sure they are switched on from the start after conceding twice early on for a second successive match.
'It is sloppiness more than anything,' he stressed.'We have been working on a few things but it is just individuals not concentrating.'
One defender exonerated from blame by Carragher was unsung Paddy O'Driscoll.
'He goes quietly about his job and just gets on with it but is always reliable,' said Carragher.
The manager must do without his suspended 23-goal top scorer Thomas Lamb for the next four games
Expecting yesterday to add St Helens Town midfieldman Neil Roberts to his squad, Carragher is stepping up the chase for a forward.
He intends to follow up his inquiry for Winsford's Rob Hopley but has another striker under scrutiny.
'Neil Roberts is the same type of player as Paul Scott,' added Carragher.
'He is a bit short of match fitness but it is more with a view to next season. We can hopefully get a couple of games out of him in the run-in.
'We have just got to keep going, not worry about anybody else and just concentrate on ourselves now.'