Five first-half goals were enough to see West Allotment Celtic take all three points against Alnwick Town.
But the visitors never gave up and reducing arrears after the break, but they still went down 5-3 on the night.
Both teams came out with attacking intent in the early stages, with Ryan Beal having to make two crucial saves for the home side and gathering a swerving 25-yard drive from Darren Riddell.
Allotment went close to making the early breakthrough themselves, with David Borley, Paul Stoneman and Liam Hudson all firing wide of Daniel Mullen’s goal.
The hosts drew first blood after 15 minutes, and the scorer came as no surprise to Whitley Park regulars.
The in-form Sean Reid reacted quickest to Liam Hudson’s flick across goal, thumping the ball past the Alnwick keeper from an acute angle.
Tom Vickers almost replied for Paul Yeadon’s side, firing into the side netting, whilst Reid came close to doubling his own tally, nodding a deft Hudson delivery inches wide of goal.
The wide man had started well, and soon had a goal of his own to show for his efforts.
A poor touch from centre-half Danny Lowes gifted Hudson possession in a dangerous area, and the attacker made no mistake, romping into the area and finishing neatly past the despairing Mullen.
The visiting goalkeeper kept his side in it minutes later, pushing away a David Dormand attempt, and his outfield cohorts soon repaid the favour, halving the deficit after 27 minutes.
A deep free kick from Kieran Hogg was inadvertently nodded across the area by a Celtic head, and Tom MacPherson sent a header crashing into the back of the net.
Reid sliced wide when put through on goal by another tremendous Hudson ball, but Allotment did not have to wait long to restore their two goal advantage.
David Dormand rose to meet a high ball just ahead of Mullen on the line, with the unfortunate custodian parrying the striker’s flick into his own top corner.
One of Celtic’s former forwards almost dragged Town right back into it, testing Ryan Beal twice in as many minutes.
he renowned attacker, on loan from North Shields, saw his first effort well parried, before a second attempt took a dubious deflection on its way towards goal – only for Beal to knock the ball away with an outstretched palm. Tony Brown slammed the follow-up into the side netting, as the Northumberland outfit came close to reeling Allotment back in.
Any chance of a comeback seemed to dissipate when Celtic poured forward, Mullen having to deny both Hudson with his feet and Dummett with his hand, but the full-back soon played his part in Celtic’s scrappy fourth.
His corner was headed towards goal by Paul Stoneman, taking a number of deflections before bobbling in off Dormand.
The fifth also came from a set-piece, though it owed far less to accident than design.
Reid is fast becoming renowned as a free kick specialist, and his second of the evening did his reputation no harm – a sweetly struck finish from 20 yards that soared into the uppermost reaches of the top corner.
It could even have been six, but the otherwise impressive David Borley failed to make full contact with a point-blank header.
Allotment started the second half with similar intent, Reid twice going close to sealing another hat-trick, before Mullen smothered at his feet after good harrying work from Dormand.
Four goals to the good, complacency began to creep into Celtic’s game, and Stoneman had to make a crucial block to deny Alnwick after giving possession away on the edge of his own area.
Town, to their credit, kept pressing for more than consolations, and soon doubled their goal tally, courtesy of Allotment’s player-manager.
A whipped ball from the left was diverted past Beal by the unfortunate centre-half, giving Town faint hope of taking something from the game.
Sean Reid nodded another effort narrowly wide of goal, but the increasingly confident away side soon grabbed a third goal. Tom Vickers’ volley squirmed through Beal’s grasp, finding its way into the bottom corner.
Only Reid continued to threaten for the disoriented hosts, sending another set-piece inches wide, as their opponents sought a way back into the game with 25 minutes remaining.
Michael Bell, more known of late for his impressive goal return, had to head a cross off the line, but could not have the desired impact at the other end, blasting a half-volley well clear of the bar.
Town’s Douglas lashed a well-placed free kick just over, before Vickers could not find a way past Beal, who denied Alnwick the opportunity to stage a grandstand finish.
An eye-catching first half from West Allotment gave way to an abject second, as a sporadically dangerous Town outfit grew in confidence, but could not recover from the promotion contenders’ dominant opening 45.
The victory keeps the pressure on the neighbouring hopefuls, with Heaton Stannington trailing Allotment in third, but with two games still to play.