Centre-half Sam Cook came off the substitutes’ bench to net a late winner for Knaresborough Town at Shirebrook on Tuesday evening.
The defender replaced the injured Gregg Anderson at half-time and then forced home the only goal of the game in the 86th minute to seal a 1-0 success for the runaway NCEL Division One leaders.
After a lively start to proceedings, Boro’s Greg Kidd was forced to clear Daniel Williams’ effort off his own goal-line in the 11th minute as Shirebrook threatened.
At the other end, Paul Stansfield’s side were denied following a goalmouth scramble and Rob Youhill forced a good save out of home stopper Warren Squires.
Steve Bromley then turned nicely and fired goalwards with 36 minutes on the clock, but his strike was deflected behind and the sides went into the interval with the match still goalless.
Boro made most of the running after the break with the pace of Youhill and Brad Walker causing Shirebrook problems.
Ben Cohen then thought he had broken the deadlock, but his goalbound effort was superbly pushed away by gloveman Squires.
The men from Manse Lane continued to press and forced a series of corners, but were unable to find a way past a stubborn home defence.
With just four minutes of normal time remaining, Boro won another corner and, following a scramble inside the six-yard box, Cook was able to pick out the back of the net.
The goal sparked wild celebrations among the visiting contingent, but having composed themselves, Knaresborough then managed to see out the remainder of the match.
Victory leaves Stansfield’s team 13 points clear at the summit, albeit having played a game more than second-placed Grimsby Borough.