Hallam and Penistone Church got the perfect Christmas present as both picked up crucial victories to boost their promotion hopes.
Hallam stretched their unbeaten league run to 14 games with a huge 3-2 win against one of their main promotion rivals, Grimsby Borough, at Sandygate Road.
It saw the Countrymen climb to fourth in Toolstation NCEL Division One, where they are now just a point outside the top two with games in hand.
Sam Smith had Hallam in front on 26 minutes, tapping in the rebound after Micah Bishop’s effort had been pushed onto the post.
The hosts were caught cold at the start of the second half as Jack Debnam drew the visitors level inside the first minute.
Bishop had been causing the Grimsby defence all sorts of problems and when he cut inside from the right on 66 minutes to drill a shot inside the near post, Hallam had the lead once more.
With five minutes remaining the Countrymen had a decisive two-goal cushion with Bishop grabbing his second of the game, slotting in at the far post after Keiran Watson had turned the ball back across goal. Grimsby got one back in the last minute with Debnam netting his second but it came too late to effect the outcome.
Penistone Church couldn’t have wished for a better day as they put five past Thackley without reply, while the Premier Division leaders Yorkshire Amateurs were given a 3-1 roasting at Staveley MW which meant second-placed Church narrowed the gap to five points with a game in hand.
Two goals in the space of six second half minutes saw Handsworth make it four wins on the spin with a 2-0 victory over Barton Town at Sandy Lane, while Maltby Main eased to a 4-0 win at Albion Sports.
Athersley Recreation went down 3-1 at Eccleshill United after Chris Wood had given them a 17th minute lead, but Worksop Town slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Bridlington Town.
Sheffield FC eased to their biggest Evo-Stik East Division away win of the season, with a comfortable 5-1 victory at struggling Pickering Town.
Stocksbridge Park Steels slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Stamford in a hard fought contest.
The only goal arrived midway through the first half Ryan Seal running onto a through ball to smash a shot past the advancing Ed Hall.
Frickley Athletic extended their unbeaten run to four games but had to be content with a point from a 1-1 draw against lowly Wisbech Town.
Buxton went down 2-1 at Warrington Town conceding two goals inside the last four minutes after Alex Brown had given them a 14th minute lead.
Fixtures, Boxing Day (3pm)
Evo-Stik Premier Division: Buxton v Matlock Town
East Division: Belper Town v Sheffield FC, Stocksbridge Park Steels v Frickley Athletic