AFC DARWEN have already won more games than they did in each of their previous two seasons after a dramatic 3-2 triumph at Irlam in the North West Counties First Division on Saturday.
The Salmoners won 10 games last season and nine matches in 2010/11, the club’s first campaign after being reformed under the AFC guise.
But Kenny Langford’s side remarkably made it 11 league wins in only 15 games this season to move seven points clear at the top.
Darwen now need only six more points to achieve their biggest points total since the club’s rebirth.
John Leeming put them ahead against Irlam in the 19th minute before Bobby Langford made it 2-0 with 15 minutes remaining.
But it looked like they would have have to settle for a point as Paul Lynch pulled a goal back for the hosts in the 83nd minute before Jamie Brewer levelled in the last minute. Darwen secured a 3-2 victory though, as an injury time own goal put them back in front.
In the Premier Division, PADIHAM warmed up for Wednesday’s Lancashire FA Trophy second round tie at home to Evo-Stik side Lancaster City with a 3-2 victory at AFC Liverpool.
The home side went ahead thanks to a headed goal from Steven Corris on 21 minutes, but the Storks almost drew level when Ben Allen’s shot was tipped on to the post.
Padiham were back on level terms early in the second half, though, as Sam Morris fired in through a crowded penalty area.
Andrew Tinker made it 2-1 on the hour mark and it was 3-1 on 74 minutes when Allen headed in Tom Bradley’s corner. AFC Liverpool did make it a nervy finish to the game, though, as Darrell Hale pulled a goal back on 86 minutes.
Nathan Taylor’s 36th-minute strike gave COLNE a 1-0 win at Congleton Town, but BACUP BOROUGH lost 2-0 at Bootle.
Tom Foley put the hosts ahead in the eighth minute and Jamie Hay doubled the lead in the 39th minute.
BARNOLDSWICK TOWN’S home match against Stockport Sports was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
The First Division game between NELSON and Cheadle Town also fell victim to the weather.