KIRKBURTON gained a crucial victory as they notched a 2-1 win over fellow West Riding County Amateur League top-flight strugglers Littletown at Hallas Road.
The win hands Burton an eight-point cushion over their rivals and the three points will go a long way to helping ensure a Premier Division place next term.
The home side had the first chance after 22 minutes when former player-manager Dean Calcutt, who 15 years ago to the day had played for Emley against West Ham in the FA Cup third round, was denied.
Jordan Tindle sent in a cross from the left wing to find Calcutt, who glanced a header towards goal only to put it straight at the keeper.
Littletown responded five minutes later and took the lead from a corner.
Burton’s defence cleared the initial ball into the penalty area only for Jonjo Keogh to fire an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net from 18 yards out.
The visitors went close to adding to their lead when Burton veteran Brendan Aspinall conceded a free-kick 20 yards out for hand ball.
Up stepped Ifran Khan to fire in a shot that went over the bar.
Richard Kellett in the Burton goal made a great save from striker Keogh in the 33rd minute and then Littletown’s Ricky Newman pulled an effort just wide.
The home side rallied and Jack Greene went close with a great effort in the 35th minute when he fired in a shot from 22 yards, but the home side were level by the interval.
Kirkburton got their equaliser on 44 minutes when the ball was played in from the right by Josh Williams and Calcutt arrived to head home.
Calcutt then turned provider just two minutes into the second half when he sent in a tremendous cross for Greene to volley home from 20 yards out.
Littletown should have equalised in the 52nd minute when Keogh rounded Kellett, but he put the ball in to the side-netting.
Calcutt was substituted on 53 minutes due to a hamstring problem and was replaced by Dom Francis.
The visitors still posed a threat and Littletown centre half Ash Burton could have done better with a free header in the 65th minute, but his effort went straight into the arms of keeper Kellett.
Lamin Bojang, Littletown’s impressive winger, then raced past two defenders with ease but his shot went well wide. He then brought out a great save from Kellett five minutes later – when he was allowed too much room by the home defence.
But Burton managed to notch a much-needed win and gained a boost for next weekend’s fixture against Everest in the quarter-finals of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Cup at Hallas Road (1pm).