RIPLEY Town player manager Ian Randall led by example as he came off the bench to score twice and steer his side to their biggest league win of the season, a 4-1 success at home to Holbrook St Michaels Reserves.
Ryan Downing put the hosts ahead before half-time with a goal mid-way through the first half but Saints levelled ten minutes into the second half.
Enter manager Randall who slid in to steer his his side in front with a shot on the near post and then added his second of the game when he chased an under-hit back pass which stuck in the mud and ran through to finish it first time.
Liam Brown wrapped up the victory with the fourth of the day from a tight angle.
Ripley are now unbeaten in their last three outings and are steadily edging themselves away from the first division relegation zone.
Michael Fox scored a hat-trick for Belper United Reserves as they beat Allestree 4-2, James Baxter with the other Belper goal while Little Eaton won 1-0 at Pastures.
At the other end of the table, Matlock Sports closed on the leaders after a 1-0 win at Bargate Rovers and Selston ignited their challenge by winning 7-2 against Derbyshire Amateurs. Both Garron Haslam and Shaun Farnsworth scored a brace in the win with Sean Gregory, David Farsnworth and Damien Curran also on target.
In division two, Derby Singh Brothers extended their advantage at the top of the table thanks to a 7-2 win at Hilton Harriers.
Rowsley ‘86 Reserves are still in with a shot at the title after a 3-1 win over Melbourne Dynamo Reserves. John Cooper scored twice and Phillip Chapman once in the win.
Ambergate beat Bargate Rovers Reserves 3-2 with goals from Wayune Randall, Andrew Stevenson and Shane Linthwaite. Paul Fowler and Tom Smith replied.
Aaron Pegg bagged a hat-trick for Pastures Reserves in a 4-1 win at Roe Farm, Dave Worger got the other Pastures goal.
Sandiacre Town Reserves kept themselves in the mix by beating Punjab United Reserves 3-1 while Selston Reserves won 2-1 against Mickleover RBL Reserves with goals from Steve Smith and Ben Childs.
In the premier division, Rowsley ‘86 and Cromford both closed the gap on the leading pack.
Rowsley romped to a 5-1 win at Ashover while Cromford won 2-1 at Derby Rolls-Rloyce Leisure, Craig Gascoigne and Alex Statham netting for Cromford while Matthew Savage suplied the Royce’s reply.
Chellaston had Rob Meyer on target but they went down 3-1 at home to Sandiacre Town while Castle Donington Town and Belper United drew 1-1. Dominic Lawrence hit the Donington goal while Jamie Wilde, who had another effort disallowed, netted for Belper.
Swanwick Pentrich Road beat Holbrook St Michaels 4-2 with Matt Johnson (2), Steve Spensley and Joe Sparham on target for Swans.
It was a good day for Swanwick as their Reserves beat Findern 5-0 in the Junior Cup, Carl Wilding, James Funnell, Richard Elliott and Andy White (2) hitting the goals in that win.
In the semi final of the DCFA Divisional Cup (south), Mickleover RBL had a ‘goal’ disallowed before going down 1-0 to Derby Royals who will now meet Allenton United in the final.
In the fourth round of the Challenge Cup, Wirksworth Town won 5-0 at Melbourne Dynamo while Willington beat Long Eaton Utd Reserves 2-1.