SAM Taylor’s double helped Stapenhill beat runaway Leicestershire Senior League outfit Rothley Imperial in a seven-goal thriller at Loughborough Road.
Jacques Briscoe and Callum Keenan were also on target, with Aidan Black (2) and Stephen Hart replying for the Imps.
Saturday’s victory allowed Mick Wood’s hard-working side to leapfrog Highfield Rangers in the table after they could only draw with Cottesmore Amateurs.
With the temperature hovering just above freezing, the Swans were swiftly into their stride, with Christian Harding trading passes with Matt Weightman before the winger’s cross was scrambled clear.
Then Lucas Harrison hit Weightman, who released Asa Sippits, but when the winger’s cross flew back in to Weightman, the striker slipped on the greasy surface and the chance was lost.
The Imps responded with Keenan blocking a shot from Hart and the hosts had the first real chance when Scott Telfer met a corner from Hart at the near post but put the ball just wide.
Then Hart eased past Martin Davies before setting up Martin Staley, who pulled his shot wide.
The Swans replied and after a decent spell of possession they opened the scoring in the 19th minute.
Taylor worked a short corner with Harding down the right and Briscoe got up well to power a header from the winger’s cross past a helpless Jamie Witham.
Six minutes later, though, the Imps levelled.
A through ball from Adam Bishop split the Swans’ defence and Black surged clear.
Ben Gough, with a strong left hand, made a terrific save to keep the winger’s shot out, but Stapenhill’s defence failed to deal with the loose ball and Black pounced to fire into the bottom corner.
At the other end, Witham was soon in action with a double save to deny first Weightman and then Taylor.
From the resultant corner, Taylor drove the ball into the box, with it falling to the surprised Keenan. He had all the time in the world to slam the ball home and regain the lead.
Then Davies found Weightman, who turned sharply but hooked the ball past the post.
As the half came to a close, strong appeals from the Swans for a penalty for handball against Telfer were waved away by referee Michael Scrivens.
Kicking down the slope on the restart, the Swans set about the Imps with a vengeance and scored twice in the first eight minutes.
On 47 minutes, Paul Furniss won the ball in midfield before finding Weightman.
The striker surged forward before cutting at right angles across the box and forcing a fine save from Witham, but the keeper had no chance with the follow-up from Taylor as he lay on the ground.
On 53 minutes, in one of the best moves of the match, Harrison released Weightman down the left.
The striker picked out Briscoe with his cross and the midfielder unselfishly set up Taylor to drive a cross-shot past Witham.
It could have been five moments later when Harrison burst clear only to blaze over.
It looked all over for the pacesetters but the Imps dug in and had a real go.
Ben Pollard found Ashley Warner and Gough flew out of goal to boot the ball clear.
On the hour, the hosts reduced the lead.
A Hart shot ricocheted in a crowded box to Black, who made no mistake.
Then a Bishop free kick skidded through to Warner, with the veteran striker turning sharply before firing inches over.
On 63 minutes, it was 4-3. Hart was dragged down by Davies, who picked up a yellow card.
Hart took the free kick, which somehow found its way through a crowded box and into the net.
Back came the Swans, with a cross from Sippits sliced by Telfer towards his own goal, but Witham saved the defender’s blushes with a smart save.
The Imps threw everybody forward in a desperate attempt to get the equaliser and forced a succession of corners whipped in by Luke Plummer and from one of them Hart saw his header cleared off the line by Simon Walker.
But the Swans weathered the storm and had a great chance themselves in injury time when a terrific cross from Sippits was completely missed by an exhausted Weightman, who had ran himself into the ground for the visitors.
GOALS: Black 25, 60, Hart 63 (Imps); Briscoe 19, Keenan 30, Taylor 47, 53 (Swans).
ROTHLEY IMPS: Witham, Morris, Telfer (Upton 87), Moult, Warner, Hart, Kunne, Bishop, Black, Staley (Plummer 54), Pollard. Subs not used: Burrows, Peacock, Williamson.
SWANS: Gough, M Davies, Harrison, Walker, Keenan, Furniss, Harding (Watson 76), Briscoe, Taylor (Disney 83), Weightman, Sippits. Subs not used: Butler.
SWANS STAR MAN: Jacques Briscoe – non-stop battling in midfield, plus a goal and an assist.
REFEREE: M Scrivens (Countesthorpe).