Awsworth Villa extended their unbeaten run to keep their title hopes alive with a 3-0 win at Real United.
They travelled to fellow title contenders Real United with skipper Liam Hutchinson absent and ever present centre half Liam Smith suspended.
New dual signing, from Dunkirk, Lee Stevenson slotted in at centre-half, while utility man Luke Grinham filled at right back.
Top scorer Ryan Whitehurst passed a late fitness test and took his place in the side.
From the outset it became clear that the away side were up for the battle.
From the first whistle Villa were upsetting the home side with strong tackles and a fast pace counter attack.
Both teams lined up 4-4-2 but it was the Villa midfield of Josh Niblett and Shaw Hutchinson who soon took control of the game.
Villa aimed early doors to get the home defence turning and this soon presented the first chance of the game.
Ryan Whitehurst running down the right channel fired a low cross into the box that Danny Walsh could only direct wide.
The same pattern of play was then repeated however this time Anthony Withe found himself free in the box, but unable to apply the final touch.
On 22 minutes it was third time lucky for the visitors as Whitehurst once again reached the byline, but this time regained composure to pick out Danny Walsh on the edge of the six yard box. Walsh made no mistake with a superb backheel flick to put Villa 1-0 up.
With five minutes left of the first half a period of sustained pressure brought Villa a succession of corners.
After failing to see his team-mates connect with either of his previous attempts, Hutchinson took it upon himself to whip the ball directly in the net from the corner.
Villa were buzzing in the half-time break, however straight from kick-off came the home side’s best period of the match.
Two substitutions and a formation change gave Real United added impetus to get back into the game.
Tim Hopkinson had their best chance which was expertly saved by Matt Walsh when one on one.
Robbie Tonra came on for Matt Goodwin after 55 minutes in an attempt to match Reals formation and keep our clean sheet intact.
This helped stem the flow of the home side’s attack and the closest they came to scoring was after 70 minutes when man-of-the match Josh Niblett very nearly directed a header in his own goal.
It seemed like it would be Villas day. And, with eight minutes left to play, substitute John Whitehurst broke clear and rounded the keeper to secure the points.
Villa now head to Unity next week looking to extend the run.