Holbeach United moved up to second spot – but manager Seb Hayes is still not ready to think about a championship challenge.
Will Bird fired a second-half hat-trick for the Tigers after goals by Lewis Leckie, George Zuerner and Charley Sanders put them in control away to Whitworth on Saturday.
Holbeach recorded a third successive win – all coming with a clean sheet – since Hayes’ criticism following the derby defeat at Boston Town last month.
He said: “We needed to get that response.
“We’re up to second with two games in hand, although Newport Pagnell Town are still flying at the top.
“I’m not going to talk about a title push but we have got ourselves into the pack.
“Other teams have slipped up but we got the response to that defeat at Boston. We’ve had three clean sheets since then.
“We started well for 25 minutes on Saturday but I felt Whitworth came right back into it.
“We were winning 1-0 at half-time but I wasn’t happy. We went very direct with long balls and it didn’t suit us.
“So I had a moan at them but the attacking players listened because our movement off the ball in the second half was fantastic.
Other teams have slipped up but we got the response to that defeat at Boston. We’ve had three clean sheets since then.Seb Hayes
“We scored or tested the keeper every time we went forward.
“The players were upset when I spoke about the goals return previously.
“Sometimes I’m a bit too hard on them because I have to push them.
“I know Bird has been low in confidence in a barren spell for goals. He works hard for the team defensively but he needs to be greedy as well.”