Mark Bradley admitted Linlithgow Rose took a ‘big step’ towards Superleague glory after beating fierce rivals Bo’ness on Saturday.
The table-toppers survived a second-half comeback to move an incredible 26 points clear of third-placed Bo’ness, who have four games in hand.
Colin Strickland fired Lithgae ahead before Gordon Herd doubled their advantage.
United’s Steven Hislop hit a brace to set up a tense second-half before Tommy Coyne netted a late winner to sent Linlithgow fans into rapture.
And delighted Bradley said: “It was a great result for us — the lads did really well.
“It’s a big step towards winning the Superleague.
“I thought we were well on top in the first half and deserved to be well ahead at the break.
“They got a big lift from their first goal though and it was much closer after that.
“The boys showed real team-spirit not to let their heads drop when Bo’ness got back on level terms.
“We showed that a game isn’t over until the final whistle, and we’ve got the win that we deserve.
“I think we showed why we’re so far ahead of the pack in the Superleague.
“We never gave up.”
Linlithgow are undefeated all season and remain 23 points ahead of second-placed Bonnyrigg, who have three games in hand.
Coyne nearly grabbed the opener when he sent a Herd pass flashing past the far post, but was narrowly wide.
In-form hitman Strickland out-muscled United’s Scott Gibb before slotting home the opener as Linlithgow controlled the first half.
And Herd bagged Linlithgow’s second midway through the half as Rose pulled away from their bitter rivals.
But Bo’ness hit back 10 minutes before half time, with Hislop heading home.
Bo’ness were buoyed by the goal and came out after the break with renewed vigor.
They pulled level when Walker found Hislop with a fine pass, and the Bo’ness dangerman headed in his second of the afternoon.
The goal was a body blow for Lithgae who had been in control in the first half.
But Rose showed real grit and refused to lay down to their Superleague rivals.
Super sub Roddy MacLennan darted through the Bo’ness defence and rounded the goalie before losing control at the final moment.
But Coyne was on hand to apply to finish and clinch the victory at Prestonfield Park.
Delighted Bradley added: “We have a strong squad and we took full advantage of that by bringing Roddy on, which really helped to turn the game around for us.
“It’s a magnificent victory and now we need to copncentrate on keeping going.
“We’ve got into this position because we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, and we need to keep that going.”
Linlithgow now turn their attention to East of Scotland Cup action, hosting capital outfit Spartans.
And Bradley said: “We’ve an important game in the cup to prepare for and that’s why we’ll do now.”
Kick-off is 2.30pm.