Ten-man Spalding United slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday, while Holbeach United picked up a fine 3-0 win at Eynesbury Rovers despite playing the entire second half a man down.
Starting with Spalding, any slim hopes that had of mounting a Evo-Stik NPL First Division South title tilt now appears over thanks to goals in each half from Matt Reay (19) and Brodie Litchfield (68).
Leon Mettam missed a penalty when the Tulips were trailing 1-0, while Kern Miller was sent off soon after the second Stocksbridge goal.
The loss sees third-placed Spalding fall 16 points behind leaders Shaw Lane, while all of their play-off rivals picked up maximum points.
Chris Rawlinson’s side do still have a seven-point cushion back to sixth-placed AFC Rushden and Diamonds, though.
In the ChromaSport UCL Premier Division, Holbeach made it four wins in a row in commanding fashion.
First-half goals from Spencer Tinkler (22) and Charley Sanders (28) gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead at the break, but they did have Stacy Cartwright sent off just before the interval.
It didn’t hit their hopes too hard, though, with Sanders adding a second from the penalty spot 11 minutes from time.
Now in their best form under boss Seb Hayes, Holbeach have moved up to sixth and have a genuine chance of finishing in the top four.
In the ChromaSport PDFL Premier Division, both Pinchbeck United and Moulton Harrox won again.
Goals from Ollie Maltby (2), Tom Brooks, Liam Ogden and an own goal saw Pinchbeck beat Stanground Sports 5-2 at Knight Street, while Harrox were 4-1 victors at Sawtry.
Both are now just one point behind leaders Peterborough Sports Reserves, who were stunned 2-1 at Leverington Sports.
Crowland Town also picked up a 3-2 win over Wisbech Town Reserves to climb off the bottom.
In Division One, leaders Moulton Harrox Reserves lost for the first time in the league as they slipped to a 3-2 home defeat against Peterborough Polonia.
Second-placed Sutton Bridge United were also beaten, going down 3-1 at Stamford Belvedere.
But there was a morale-boosting 5-1 victory for basement boys Spalding United Reserves against Baston.
First Division South: AFC Rushden and Diamonds 6 Northwich Victoria 1; Basford United 7 Belper Town 1; Carlton Town 1 Market Drayton Town 0; Gresley 1 Lincoln United 3; Leek Town 3 Stamford 1; Newcastle Town 1 Rugby Town 0; Romulus 3 Kidsgrove Athletic 1; Shaw Lane AFC 2 Bedworth United 2; Stocksbridge Park Steels 2 Spalding United 0; Witton Albion 3 Chasetown 2.
Premier Division: Boston Town 0 Wellingborough Town 1; Cogenhoe United 1 Desborough Town 1; Eynesbury Rovers 0 Holbeach United 3; Harborough Town 2 Huntingdon Town 0; Harrowby United 0 Peterborough Northern Star 3; Leicester Nirvana 2 Peterborough Sports 3; Oadby Town 1 Sleaford Town 4; Rothwell Corinthians 0 Deeping Rangers 4; Wisbech Town 3 Newport Pagnell Town 2; Yaxley 2 Northampton Sileby Rangers 1.
Premier Division: Crowland Town 3 Wisbech Town Res 2; Deeping Rangers Res 0 Ketton 5; Leverington Sports 2 Peterborough Sports Res 1; Netherton United 5 Holbeach United Res 1; Pinchbeck United 5 AFC Stanground Sports 2; Sawtry 1 Moulton Harrox 4; Stamford Lions 3 Peterborough ICA Sports 2; Thorney 3 Stilton United 3; Uppingham Town 0 Langtoft United 3.
Division One: Moulton Harrox Res 2 Peterborough Polonia 3; Oakham United Res 8 Riverside 1; Oundle Town 0 Whittlesey Athletic Res 5; Spalding United Reserves 5 Baston 1; Stamford Belvedere 3 Sutton Bridge United 1; Warboys Town 12 Netherton United Res 0.
Division Two: Langtoft United Res 1 AFC Stanground Sports Res 5; Netherton United A 6 Leverington Sports Res 0; Peterborough ICA Sports Res 1 Whittlesey Athletic A 1; Ramsey Town 4 Parkway Eagles 4.
Division Three: AFC Stanground Sports A 2 Oundle Town Res 4; Brotherhood Sports 5 Stamford Belvedere Res 1; FC Peterborough 1 Eye United 0; Whittlesey Athletic B 1 Farcet United 4.
Division Four: AFC Stanground Sports B 1 Parkside 0; Long Sutton Athletic Res 1 Holbeach Bank 0; Netherton United B 2 Cardea 7; Tydd St Mary Res 1 Stamford Lions A 3; Wittering Harriers Res 4 Feeder 5.
Division Five A: Orton Rangers 3 Holbeach United A 1; Peterborough NECI 8 Feeder Res 0; Ramsey Town Res 3 Eunice Huntingdon 6.
Division Five B: Kings Cliffe Res 4 British School of Sport 0.