SILSDEN restored their eight-point advantage at the top of Hallmark Security League Division One in convincing style with a 5-0 win at lowly Eccleshall.

The Cobbydalers were looking for a 12th straight league victory, and the perfect dozen was achieved with Joe Gaughan bagging a hat-trick for good measure.

Gaughan opened the scoring after just 11 minutes, and their Staffordshire hosts were effectively beaten by half-time after Kyle Hancock and Niall Sultan added to that.

Then Gaughan netted a second-half brace to complete his treble.

Thackley stunned leaders Pickering Town in the top tier of the Toolstation Northern Counties East League with a 4-2 win at Dennyfield.

The Dennyboys were promotion rivals of the Pikes for most of last season but Chris Reape’s men have struggled to make a push this term.

However, they asserted their authority by winning both halves 2-1.

Ryan Blott had given the visitors a third-minute lead but Dan Broadbent struck twice in a four- minute spell late in the first half.

Joe Hughes made it 3-1, and Matt Broadley scored the home side’s fourth before Joe Danby snatched a late consolation.

There was another shock result as Barton Town beat Albion Sports 2-1 at Throstle Nest, with the visitors almost doubling their season’s points tally with the win.

They were second from bottom in the Premier Division, while Albion were looking to breach the 20-point barrier.

It was a doggedly defensive display from the Swans, and they struck on the break with Gareth Barlow bagging a brace, breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute and adding to that on the hour.

The Lions snatched a last-minute consolation through Myles Foley.

Liversedge also suffered a home defeat but they deserved at least a draw from the visit of third-placed Handsworth Parramore.

The Parras took a seventh-minute lead, Jonathan Froggatt netting the game’s only goal, but faced wave after wave of attack from Sedge in the second half.

Handsworth are now just two points off new leaders Pontefract Collieries, who pushed the Pikes down to second place by virtue of a massively better goal difference.

Eccleshill United closed the gap on them and neighbours Campion in the play-off places in Division One.

But the Eagles had to be patient in their 2-0 win at basement outfit Brigg Town.

The visitors finally made the breakthrough when Jonny Irving pounced to slot in after the home keeper had dropped a 67th-minute free-kick.

Ten minutes later, Irving turned provider, setting up Liam Hudson, who scored at the second attempt.

The Eagles are now just one point and one place behind Campion after their 4-2 home defeat to Armthorpe Welfare.

It was 1-1 at half-time but a second-half hat-trick from Morgan Brough saw the visitors to a surprise win.

Aidan Day and Tom Robinson were on target for James Bicknell’s side, who remain third, while Armthorpe’s Gary Collier netted the game’s opening goal.