Another predatory performance from Macaulay Langstaff fired us to victory over Altrincham.
The forward came to life shortly before half-time, scoring two close-range goals to take his season tally to an incredible 14 in 11 matches.
And he nearly had a hat-trick in the second half when he headed Tobi Adebayo-Rowling's cross towards the far corner, only for Adam Chicksen to get the telling touch on the line.
Chicksen's third goal of the season was an important one as Marcus Dinanga had halved the deficit shortly after half-time.
But, despite causing us a number of scares over the course of a tough afternoon, that was to be Alty's only goal.
Luke Williams made two changes to the side that comfortably beat York last weekend, with Tobi Adebayo-Rowling – making his first start – and Cedwyn Scott replacing Aaron Nemane and Jim O’Brien in the starting XI.
Quevin Castro kept his place in midfield and, inside five minutes, the West Brom loanee had an opportunity to replicate the incredible free-kick he scored at York City last weekend. Adopting the same technique, the ball once again looked destined for the net but this time it crashed off the underside of the bar and not quite over Ollie Byrne’s goal line.
Seven minutes later we worked a chance for Langstaff, Richard Brindley whipping in a cross from the right for the forward who was disappointed to head the ball off-target.
Altrincham showed their threat for the first time on 20 minutes when a through ball allowed Dinanga to break the offside trap and race through on goal. Sam Slocombe came off his line and Dinanga opted to shoot early, rattling the crossbar and watching on as we managed to clear the danger.
We responded with another opportunity for Langstaff courtesy of a Brindley cross. This time the ball dropped at the feet of the forward eight yards out but, perhaps expecting the defender in front of him to head clear, and he missed his kick.
Shortly afterwards, the visitors scrambled a Ruben Rodrigues corner clear as we continued our pursuit of the opening goal but we had to remain vigilant at the other end as, two minutes later, Slocombe raced off his line to clear another dangerous through ball brilliantly.
We then had big penalty appeals waved away as Cedwyn Scott drew a low save from Byrne only for Langstaff to be first on the scene to turn the ball home from a yard or so out.
And the visitors were stunned as, moments later, they found themselves two down when Scott brilliantly released Adebayo-Rowling into the area. The wing back left his marker for dust and, after his attempted cross was diverted on to the post, he had the vision to prod the ball quickly to Langstaff who did the honours once again from close range.
Any hopes we had of a comfortable afternoon were soon put to bed within two minutes of the second half, however, as Dinanga turned home a cross from the left to half the deficit.
Not long afterwards, Williams made a double change with Ed Francis and Sam Austin replacing Scott and Castro.
The change did little to halt a nervy spell in the game, however, and the visitors could well have equalised on 56 minutes when Christopher Conn-Clarke got around the back and flashed a low shot across goal and wide of the far post.
A few minutes later, though, we had the game wrapped up when Adebayo-Rowling used his pace to great effect once again, skipping past his man and floating a cross into the middle. Langstaff sent a header looping across goal and Chicksen was there to prod it across the line.
It wasn’t quite game over, though, as with 14 minutes to go Kyle Cameron slipped at the crucial moment to release Conn-Clarke into the area once more. Again, his low shot flashed across the face of goal and just wide.
There was another heart-in-mouth moment as the game entered its final throes as Cameron’s misplaced pass left us exposed, but Slocombe made a good save low down to quell the danger.
And the final chance of the day fell to Aaron Nemane, on for Chicksen, but his shot was parried away by Byrne who to ensure the game ended 3-1.
STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Rawlinson, Brindley; Chicksen (Nemane 70'), Adebayo-Rowling; Palmer, Castro (Francis 55'), Rodrigues, Scott (Austin 55'); Langstaff
UNUSED SUBS: O'Brien, Mitchell
ATTENDANCE: 6,458 (152)