ATHERTON Collieries head into Saturday’s home clash with Winsford United at the Kensite, kick off 3pm, as leaders of the Hallmark Security League Premier Division.
Colls have a three-point advantage, and a game in hand over second-placed Bootle, thanks to a 12th win in 13 outings at the weekend.
While ensuring a fourth consecutive blank sheet against Congleton, Michael Clegg’s men never made the win look in doubt.
Northern Ireland international signing from Curzon Ashton, Johnny Gorman, made his debut up front, while Liam Wood, slotted into left midfield, was superb throughout.
Ben Hardcastle and Vinny Bailey both bagged doubles, with Jordan Cover getting in on the scoring act too.
Taking your chances is a necessity in any game of football and certainly the Collieries did this, hitting the mark with their first chance on eight minutes.
Winger Hardcastle picked up a loose ball in a packed box and carried along the area before firing low and hard into the back of the net.
In the opening 30 minutes Atherton reduced Congleton to one ambitious effort and this hard work was rewarded as Bailey slotted past keeper Ross Heywood to send the Crazy Gang wild.
Gorman’s tap from a squared ball was headed off the line and he came close again shortly before half time, firing just over the bar from a free kick on the edge of the area.
Kicking up the infamous Kensite slope in the second period favoured the black and whites because two goals came in quick succession within the opening five minutes.
Electric heeled front man Cover picked the ball up in midfield before he ran the length of the Congleton half and slotted under Heywood.
Then in repeat fashion Cover collected in midfield and advanced the length of the half before this time squaring the ball to Bailey who skilfully directed to the back of the net.
On 74 minutes the visitors attempted to pull a consolation goal back, however Reid was equal to the challenge.
Seconds later, Atherton received a penalty following Hardcastle being pulled back in the area.
He dusted himself down to fire the ball into the bottom right-hand corner to complete the scoring.