However, Matlock made the hosts work hard for more than an hour. In front of a decent pre-Christmas crowd of 807, Jordan Hulme latched onto James Poole’s excellent ball up the middle to beat Phil Barnes to give Altrincham the lead in the 14th minute.
With fog making visibility difficult in the second half, Alty extended their lead after 67 minutes when Hulme cleverly back-heeled a cross from the right into the net – his 19th goal of the season. And it was a similar low cross from the right that Hancock converted to make it 3-0 in the 88th minute – a goal scored while the visitors were temporarily down to ten-men.
Shaw Lane AFC are second, two points behind with a game in hand, after winning 3-1 at Keys Park against mid-table Hednesford Town.
The Pitmen got off to a good start when Charlie Gatter put them in front after just five minutes. And they held that lead right until 20 minutes from time when Nicky Walker equalised for the Ducks.
Ten minutes later and former Altrincham favourite Damian Reeves put the visitors in front before Walker made sure with his second and Shaw Lane`s third as stoppage time ticked in.
Grantham Town fell three points behind Shaw Lane in third after being held to a 1-1 draw at The Meres by sixth-placed Ashton United.
It looked as though the Gingerbreads were heading for all three points when Lee Shaw eventually broke the deadlock in the 73rd minute. But Nic Evangelinos popped up with United`s equaliser nine minutes from time.
Workington AFC moved into fourth spot above Warrington Town after they beat Nantwich Town 2-1 and the Wire suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Coalville Town.
The Reds started well at Borough Park as Dave Symington gave them an early sixth minute lead. Matty Bell pulled the Dabbers back on level terms on 32 minutes. But the Reds won it with a 72nd Matty Douglas effort.
At Cantilever Park, it was a disappointing afternoon for Warrington, who trailed at half-time to a 32nd minute Tom McLinchey effort for the Ravens.
Four minutes after the break, McLinchey then doubled Coalville`s lead and they confirmed victory six minutes from time with a third from Dan Creaney, rendering Jamie McDonald`s 89th minute strike as just a consolation.
Witton Albion remain in top five contention in seventh after a 6-2 romp at bottom-markers Sutton Coldfield Town.
Rob Hopley gave Albion a 10th minute lead and, after a delay whilst a substitute linesman was found after an injury to the referee, the new whistler gave the visitors a 36th minute penalty which Steven Tames converted and a quickfire brace from Will Jones sent the visitors into half-time 4-0 up.
Five minutes into the second half, Owen Dale added a fifth and the same player made it 6-0 just past the hour-mark. The Royals did manage to reduce the deficit by two late on through Danny O`Callaghan and Tyler Lyttle.
Stourbridge were forced to settle for a point at Amblecote against ten-man Whitby Town after the game was delayed by an hour and kicked off at 4pm after Whitby got stuck on the M42 due to an accident.
Leon Broadhurst, who led the teams out to commemorate his recent 700th appearance, put the Glassboys ahead from the penalty spot on the hour-mark but Whitby sub Kieron Weledji grabbed his side a point after they were reduced to ten-men in the 65th minute as Luke Bythway was shown a red card for fouling Kaiman Anderson on the edge of the box.
Stalybridge Celtic remain in danger of suffering back-to-back relegations after a 2-1 Bower Fold defeat to a Rushall Olympic side who are now 18th and eight points clear of their hosts in the table.
A Joe Hull own goal gave Celtic the boost of an early sixth minute lead. But that lasted barely two minutes as Andre Landell equalised and then Danny Waldron won it for the Pics five minutes into the second half.
Marine AFC moved up to nineteenth after a comprehensive 4-0 win at Kirkby Road against a Barwell side who are now just two points above the Mariners.
Florian Da Silva gave the visitors a 26th minute lead that James Murray doubled less than two minutes later. Barwell then had Nigel Julien sent-off for a dangerous challenge on Michael Brewster after 35 minutes and nine minutes later, Adam Hughes added the Mariners` third.
Danny Mitchley made it 4-0 on the hour-mark and in the final minute, tempers flared, Barwell`s Luke Foster and Marine`s Brewster both receiving straight red cards.
Steve Williams earned Lancaster City all three points at Mickleover Sports with an 87th minute goal, while Danny Westwood had Stafford Rangers in front at Silverlands against Buxton after 14 minutes. But a Joe McGee penalty earned the Bucks a point 7 minutes after the break.
Follow us: @evostikleague on Twitter | Facebook www.facebook.com/evostikleague