Crewe Vagrants 7 Oxton 2
JAMES Capper and Andrew Ash-worth ran riot as league leaders Crewe crushed Oxton to secure three more precious points to boost their title ambitions.
The Vagrants swept to a 5-0 half-time lead to end any challenge from the mid-table Oxton second string, on Saturday.
The win keeps them three points clear of challengers Bolton, who also picked up maximum points at the weekend.
Ashworth got the ball rolling on five minutes when he rounded off a short-corner routine from close range, and James Capper hammered the ball in under the diving home keeper to double the advantage soon after.
Jon Woodhart, Henry Weir and Nick Marshall had to repel attacks from the home side before Dave Holland collected Capper's pass but rifled wide. But on 18 minutes Ashworth got his second.
Keeper Graham Coombs pulled off a fine save to maintain Crewe's cushion, and Weir slipped the ball through to Capper who stabbed the ball home for a 4-0 lead on 27 minutes.
Capper rounded off the half with a neat chip in from Simon Trenbirth's pass for his third and Crewe's fifth.
Holland and Ashworth were denied by the home keeper after the restart, before Oxton pulled a goal back from a corner.
After Holland, Trenbirth and Marshall had resisted brief Oxton pressure, Ash-worth trickled the ball over the line to complete his hat-trick and put Crewe 6-1 ahead.
Ashworth had another fine chance but shot wide after rounding the keeper, and Steve Bourne missed the target from Trenbirth's pass.
The score became 7-1 when Weir slipped the ball to Capper for a simple tap in at the far post. Oxton got a consolation goal from a fierce short corner effort, but nothing could spoil Crewe's day.
Graham Cooke hammered four goals for Crewe 2nds as they climbed out of the drop zone with a 6-0 success over Oxton 3rds. Andrew Ticehurst and Phil Robinson completed the scoring. Crewe 3rds lost 5-0 to Colwyn Bay 2nds.
Crewe Ladies' 2nds promotion hopes took a massive dent when they were beaten 5-1 by Chester. Despite the efforts of keeper Lauren Taylor they conceded five goals without reply. Nova Barclay hit the post twice before Annabella Ricci finally grabbed a consolation.
A team spokesman said: 'It looks like we will be staying in this division after such a disheartening loss.'