BARNTON extended a wins sequence to four matches after beating pacesetters Crewe on their own pitch, climbing to second in the standings as a reward.
Billy Webb scored in each half, taking his goals tally to 16 in just 14 starts this season, to settle the outcome in the Villagers’ favour.
They are now three points adrift of the summit with two games in hand.
Neighbours endured back-to-back league defeats for the first time since Steve Lloyd took over as manager in the summer, losing 2-0 at bogey team Garswood.
They have beaten the Northwich outfit three times this season between league and cup, Chris Francis and substitute Adam Prince scoring in their latest success.
Rudheath might have taken the lead earlier on, but Garswood goalkeeper Lee Novak stopped attempts Ryan Jackson and Nathan Harwood.
At the other end of the table, Sam Didsbury scored a hat-trick to help Middlewich to only their second win of the campaign – their first with John O’Sullivan in charge.
Michael Evans scored the Witches’ other goal in a 4-0 defeat of fellow strugglers Denton.
In Division Two, goals from Michael Blundell and Leon Robinson were enough for Sandbach United to record a 2-0 win at home to Barnton Wanderers.
Lostock Gralam did not play.
Saturday December 21
Crewe FC 0 Barnton 2
Eagle Sports 1 Gamesley 2
Garswood United 2 Rudheath Social 0
Knutsford 1 Rylands 1
Middlewich Town 4 Denton Town 0
Pilkington 0 Linotype 5
Maine Road res 1 Poynton 0
Grappenhall Sports 2 Warrington Town reserves 1
Malpas 4 Daten 1
Moore United 1 Congleton Vale 5
Sandbach United 2 Barnton Wanderers 0