HALEBANK dropped a position yet gained ground in the Warrington and District League's Front runner sponsored Premier Division.
They made up three points on leaders Penlake who lost their un-beaten home record to Beeches, but were overtaken on goal difference by Whiston.
The latter's 5-2 win at Haydock took them into second place if only by a single-goal margin.
Halebank, now third, have a game in hand on Whiston and two on Penlake, who are still nine points ahead of the two in pursuit.
Halebank stayed in the hunt with a 2-0 defeat of Moore United.
Moorfield claimed maximum points with a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Downall Green United, but defending champions St Michael's DH came a 4-2 cropper against top-flight whipping boys Fearnhead.
Monks Sports' reign at the head of the Grange Valley-sponsored Division One was put under threat with a 3-0 thumping by nearest rivals Rainhill Town.
Rainhill appear to be on course to overhaul Monks with only two points separating the pair and Town having two games in hand.
Cronton Villa swept Silverbirch aside in emphatic style - the 7-2 score being the highest of the day.
With just four games left, however, Cronton appear to have left it too late this term to mount a real challenge.
Honours were even in a derby in which Halton Borough and Avon Athletic shared four goals.
It is also close at the top of Division Two where leaders Beechwood lost 2-1 to Matthiola, Mark Rampley scoring both for Fiddlers Ferry.
Beechwood have a single-point lead over second-placed Culcheth Sports with Matthiola in third, three points further back.
Mill Brow and Windle LC served up a goal feast. Brow raced to a 3-1 lead with Dale Pickton netting twice and Ian Bason on target.
David Lloyd scored a fourth for Mill Brow but Windle fought back to level at four each with time running out. However, Paul Giles wrapped up the points for Brow with seconds left.
The Division Three promotion race took another twist with lead-ers Runcorn Athletic being the only side in the top three to win.
Their 2-1 win at lowly Widnes Bayer restored a cushion for Athletic to protect in the run-in.
Winwick United stay second as a result of Fife Rangers' 4-3 defeat at Runcorn's Act R Sports, who have games in hand.
The top two in Reserve Division One won to stretch further ahead.
Ford motored to a routine 5-0 home win over St Michael's while Sidac Reserves destroyed Rainhill Town Reserves 4-1.
Whiston were given a stern test by Halebank but held out to win 2-1.
Monks Sports held Rainhill 3rd to a 1-1 draw at Hillock Lane to leave the top of Reserve Division Two as tense as ever. Moorfield Reserves stay top but all hopefuls have games in hand with six still in the frame.
A late Carl Gallagher strike helped Moore United triumph 6-5 in a bizarre affair at Vicars.
Adam Graham, Wayne Jones (2), Mark Boyle (2) and Gallagher were United's other scorers.