Scarborough Athletic produced a solid away-day performance to beat Evo-Stik South rivals Gresley on the road.
Rudy Funk’s men did more than enough to seal the three points against an organised side, who lie just below them in the table.
Boro went into the game on the back of a solid performance in the draw against Leek, so a positive frame of mind was expected.
But they were worryingly slow out of the blocks in the opening minutes and could have found themselves behind.
Michael Lyons had a shot deflected just an inch past Jason White’s post, while John Guy found some space in the box from a corner and smacked his effort against the angle of bar and post.
Boro finally began to wake from their slumber and their attacking progress was aided by the fact they were playing down the slope of Gresley’s pitch.
Ryan Williams had their first chance on goal when he brilliantly bent a free-kick towards the top corner, only to be denied by the outstretched palm of keeper Mats Morch.
The lively Grant Ryan then tried a speculative volley from distance that was grabbed at the second attempt by an assured Morch.
The game calmed down to a pedestrian pace after this, though Boro always had to be aware of the threat that Gresley posed on the counter.
A clearly struggling Paul Foot did admirably to contain the pace of Serge Makofo and Alex Steadman, who both had little to show for their toils.
In fact, it was Boro who went the closest in the half’s remaining minutes. Ryan Blott brillianly hooking a volley that skipped past the home upright.
Ben Middleton replaced the injured Foot at the break, with things boiling over between Ryan and Gresley’s Mitch Hanson soon after. Numerous toots on the ref’s whistle soon helped to calm things down.
Boro made the breakthrough five minutes later when Ryan Williams wriggled free and delivered a pin-point cross from the right, Andy Milne rose well to loop home a header.
gresley should have levelled in the moments that followed, Makofo crossing for Kieran O’Connell, but fired at the foot of the post.
O’Connell was given another great chance when he was picked out once again in the Boro area, but again he failed to control his effort flashing it past the post.
Play then switched to the other end and Morch showed the Jekyll and Hyde side of his goalkeeping. He spilled a Jordan Thewlis shot, but made a superb save to keep out Ryan’s follow up.
Another error then presented Boro with the match-winning second when Thewlis was released from midfield.
Jamie Barrett failed to make a challenge and Thewlis danced through to score off the post.
That killed the game as a spectacle, despite Gresley moving the impressive Hanson into a more advanced position.
Goalscorer Thewlis continued to sparkle in the final minutes though and he was unlucky not to add a second to his tally, stinging the palms of Moch with a vicious drive.