A ROB Hopley brace shot Winsford a little closer to promotion at the Barton Stadium on Saturday.
The former Middlewich Town striker ended his goal drought to keep the Blues clear of main rivals Silsden and on equal points with Cammell Laird.
United matched skilful opponents with a confident, hard-working display.
As usual the home side put pressure on their opponents right from the start and created their first chance after only six minutes when Rob Hanley's cross was just out of Hopley's reach.
Oldham had two dangerous forwards in James Curley and James Ogoo and the de-fence had to be watchful.
The Blues took a deserved lead on 17 minutes but they had to rely on a dreadful mixup between visiting defender John Joyce and goalkeeper David Carnell.
Ian Stanton's through ball to Hopley was just ahead of the striker and looked to be easy for Carnell. However, Joyce decided to help the ball on its way and Hopley pounced on their indecision, calmly dribbling into the net.
Stanton was having one of his best games so far and his skill from set pieces causes defences all sorts of problems. His 30th-minute free kick into the box was met by the head of Chris Melia but his effort cleared the bar. Neil Marsh was also unlucky when his header from a corner was straight at Car-nell. It was more of the same in the second half with Curley and Ogoo being well-harnessed by the Blues defence and the home side continuing to pile on the pressure.
The best move of the match came in the 64th minute when the ball was taken down the left by Stuart Well-stead but he was unlucky to see his shot just go over the bar.
However, Winsford did not have to wait long for their second goal. Once again the Oldham defence were helpful and a back pass to Carnell was woefully short leaving Hopley to steer the ball under the diving goalkeeper. UNITED: Walton; Booth, Chambers, Marsh, Stanton; Melia (McCormack 62), Quinn (Williams 78), Hutchinson, Hughes; Hopley, Hanley (Hurley 69).
Att: 93 Star Man: Rob Hopley, opportunist goals Next Best: Ian Stanton Team Rating: 4 Match Rating: 3