Runcorn FC Halton 3, Stalybridge Celtic 0: INCREASED productivity at home reached a season's peak with Runcorn's biggest UniBond League Premier Division victory in front of their own fans.
The hosts had already won two and drawn one of the previous four at Halton Stadium.
And a couple of first-half goals set the Linnets up for what could prove a hugely significant result - with Mike Garrity's 75th-minute third rewarding the industry of the Linnets defence.
They had come under severe pressure in the second half but kept their wits about them.
Tony McMillan has had his problems this season but the young keeper stood up from the outset and was confident in his handling.
With the five men immediately in front of him providing protection by covering runners and charging down shots, McMillan was called into one difficult save, although the hosts had to deal with numerous corners.
Stalybridge had made the more auspicious start in terms of territory but Carl Rendell lifted Runcorn's confidence with a
Attendance: 274. rebound finish in the eighth minute.
Chris Lightfoot headed in the second from a deflected Anton Lally cross in the 25th minute.
Lally made some impressive left-wing charges from midfield in the second half and was instrumental, along with Matthew Platt and Lightfoot in Garrity's goal.
Lightfoot opened up the Celtic defence for Garrity, one of three players who got through this game after being a serious fitness doubt, to score at the second attempt, having hit a post.
RUNCORN: McMillan, Garrity, Ness, Nolan, Ellis, Spearritt, Lally, Morley, Lightfoot (Aldridge 75), Courtney (Platt 63), Rendell. Sub: Parkinson.