Rampant Peterborough made their manager Darren Ferguson’s dreams come true by demolishing Accrington 7-0 to send out a statement of promotion intent.
Second-placed Posh recorded their biggest win since 2007 as sorry Stanley crashed to their heaviest loss since returning to the Football League 15 years ago.
Sky Bet League One’s leading scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris bagged a brace inside the opening 10 minutes before Sammie Szmodics struck midway through the first half.
Szmodics doubled his tally three minutes into the second period and Clarke-Harris completed a second hat-trick of the campaign after 64 minutes.
Two substitutes then got in on the act. Mo Eisa bagged his first league goal of the season before Idris Kanu completed the rout with his first strike for the club as Posh closed to within a point of leaders Hull.
“I couldn’t be more delighted,” said Posh boss Darren Ferguson. “What a magnificent performance that was from my team.
“We had a great start to be two goals up inside nine minutes and just carried it on. If ever you could dream about how a game would go the night before, this was it.
“The players did everything I asked of them. We were clinical, we were ruthless and we were excellent to a man.
“Jonson took his goals really well and Sammie was outstanding. It was so pleasing the way we ran so much and kept going in the second half with two substitutes scoring and another making a goal.
“It was a case of how many we would score in the end and it feels like we’ve won four points as we have now got the same goal difference as Sunderland which could be really important.
“It was a good day all round.”
Stanley manager John Coleman, who also suffered an 8-2 hiding at Peterborough back in 2008, said: “It’s just unfortunate there is no Premier League or Championship football to bury this result!
“Peterborough had a day where everything went right for them and they don’t come around very often.
“It was like all their birthdays came at once as we gifted them their first two goals, but I’ve got to take my hat off to them. They ran through us time and time again and were fantastic in front of goal.
“It summed up our day when we brought young Rhys Fenlon on, he got a glorious chance to go clean through and pulled his hamstring so we had to finish with 10 men.
“I’m bitterly disappointed to lose 7-0 and the pride takes a beating for that, but the biggest problem is losing four more players to injury.
“I can’t ever remember an injury crisis like this in almost 25 years as a manager.”