Durham United FA ended Matchweek 16 on 24 points - nine out of first position in the east - after a commanding 5-0 result over Pro Stars FC.
The star of the night was Durham's centre-back Cameron Brooks (45', 47', 87'), whose instincts on set-pieces allowed him to claim a hat-trick and dominate the score column.
"It was very surprising," said Durham head coach, Sanford Carabin.
"He is one of our centre-backs and those were his first three goals of the year. I think they were all situational and we have been working a lot on set-pieces and all three of them were based on set-pieces. Cam's always aggressive on the set-pieces and he has been close a lot this year. I think today was the game where they all came together. I was happy for him."
"Three of our five goals today were off set-pieces and I think it's because we are constantly reminding them to switch on, and then eventually it becomes a mentality on a set-piece - who wants it more," added Carabin
"I think today my last message to them was to be switched on at all the set-pieces and be as aggressive as you can. I didn't expect three goals from it, but quite happy we did."
Brooks' teammates Christian Moncrieffe (60') and Jumbo Iyowuna (77') added the insurance markers, while keeper Michael Canam claimed the clean sheet, in a game where Durham's experience rose to the occasion.
"I think now we have had bad results for many matches but we have to keep the focus for the young players," said Pro Stars assistant coach Indrit Fortuzi.
"We have four or five players we are watching closely, and looking to develop for the future."
"We needed the players to keep the ball, to move a lot, and to connect accurately between positions," he added.
"It's very difficult when you are working with young players and the other team presses you very high, but I think in the first half we found some ways through it. In the second half I think the team tired."
Durham United FA will next play Vaughan Azzurri on August 18 at Kinsmen Park, Pickering.
Pro Stars FC will next play Toronto Skillz on August 17 at Avondale Stadium, Brampton.