Faris Ramli continued his incredible form in 2017 with a goal and assist to help Home United to an easy 4-0 win over bottom side Garena Young Lions at Bishan Stadium in the S.League on Tuesday night.
Adam Swandi and Faris struck to put the Protectors 2-0 up at the break, before goals from Irfan Fandi and Stipe Plazibat sealed the victory late in the game.
The result meant Aidil Sharin's side closed the gap between them and Tampines Rovers to four points in the battle for second spot, with two games remaining.
Vincent Subramaniam's Young Lions did well to contain Home in the first half hour, but were unable to stop the opening goal on 34 minutes.
After Syahrul Sazali conceded possession in his own half, Faris teed up Adam to lash Home a powerful drive inside the area, which proved too hot for Hairul Syirhan to handle.
After collecting his 20th assist of the season, Faris would take his goal tally to 20 by doubling the Protectors' lead six minutes later.
The 25-year-old went on a good solo run after a Young Lions turnover and fired a neat shot into the bottom right corner.
Young Lions could have pulled one back a minute before the hour mark, but substitute Muhaimin Suhaimi just failed to get the vital touch on Zulqarnaen Suzliman's cross into the six-yard area.
Home were largely in control though, as they scored two in the final 16 minutes to seal the three points.
Irfan took the captain's armband after Hassan Sunny came off for Rudy Khairullah earlier. In the 74th minute, he poked home from close range after winning an aerial challenge with Hairul from an Izzdin Shafiq's inswinging cross.
On the stroke of full-time, Croatian forward Plazibat, who'd come on on as a 58th-minute substitute for Juma'at Jantan, fired home a sizzling shot from the edge of the box for his 36th goal in all competitions.
That put him on 24 league goals as well, edging him five clear of nearest challenger Tsubasa Sano, of champions Albirex Niigata (S).
Home will next host Geylang International on Saturday night. But Tampines will have a chance to pull seven points clear in second again when they face Brunei DPMM away in Bandar Seri Begawan a day earlier.
Home United: Hassan Sunny (GK, C) (Rudy Khairullah 70'), Aqhari Abdullah, Haziq Azman, Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan (Stipe Plazibat 58'), Iqram Rifqi, M. Anumanthan, Izzdin Shafiq, Adam Swandi, Amiruldin Asraf, Faris Ramli (Marijan Suto 79')
Garena Young Lions: Hairul Syirhan (GK), Rusyaidi Salime, Illyas Lee (C), Faizal Roslan, Syahrul Sazali, Amirul Adli, Shahrin Saberin, Zulqarnaen Suzliman, Hami Syahin, Yeo Hai Ngee (Shameer Aziq 58'), Haiqal Pashia (Muhaimin Suhaimi 46')