Melton Town’s resistance finally broke as Pinchbeck United stayed on course for the United Counties League Division One title.
Shane Jarram’s side, playing only their third match of 2018, stayed in touch for the first 50 minutes before the Lincolnshire side eased away to a 4-0 win.
Town were left to ponder what might have been after letting two good chances slip away early on, and the hosts finally broke the deadlock after 33 minutes.
But if Melton were still in the match at half-time, their hopes of taking something away soon evaporated after the break in a disappointing performance.
Pinchbeck, who are 10 points clear at the top, scored twice more in the first 10 minutes of the second half and then capped their win with a fourth with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
Aaron Eyett scored twice for the Lincolnshire side, allied to strikes from Oliver Maltby and substitute Liam Ogden.
Town remain 15th, but will look to move further clear of any potential danger with a fixture double-header this week.
They entertain 13th-placed Irchester United on Saturday at Digital Deadline Park (ko 3pm) before a re-arranged fixture on Tuesday at Burton Park Wanderers who sit a place and two points below Melton (ko 7.45pm).
Melton Town: (v Pinchbeck): C. Middleton, C. Sheridan, J. Hollis, B. Lapworth, G. Coser, C. Hibbitt (c), J. Baker, Matt Hendey, K. Clayton, L. Moyo, G. Vernon. Sub: J. Clark.
* There was further disappointment for Melton on Tuesday when their County FA Senior Cup semi-final with NKF Burbage was postponed.
Despite a dry weekend, rain on Monday saw the tie called off the game 24 hours in advance of the Tuesday evening kick-off.
The decision was taken because of the state of the pitch at Anstey Nomads who were hosting the tie.
Heather St Johns edged past Nomads 3-2 in the other semi-final the previous Tuesday.
The new date and venue for the re-arranged tie had yet to be confirmed at the time of going to press.