Lancashire moved within three wickets of victory after completely dominating the third day of their LV= County Championship Division One clash with Hampshire at Southport.
The Red Rose county, who are in pole position to return straight back to the top flight, set Hampshire an improbable 496 for victory thanks to Paul Horton's first century of the season and then reduced the men from the south coast to 137-7 at stumps with one day remaining.
Enterprising batting from Horton (111) and Luis Reece (65) helped Lancashire add 159 runs in the morning session before Lancashire declared on 284-5.
The only bright note to come out of the Lancashire second innings was the performance of 16-eyar-old debutant Brad Taylor, who finished with 4- 64 from 14 overs on his maiden first-class appearance.
Lancashire captain Glen Chapple made an immediate breakthrough shortly after declaring when he had opposite number Jimmy Adams caught by second slip Andrea Agathangelou for four but the Red Rose skipper was forced to limp from the field with an Achilles injury a couple of balls later.
However, the other Lancashire seamers also proved themselves penetrative operators. Liam Dawson was lbw to Tom Smith's second ball for two and Michael Roberts was lbw to Kyle Hogg for 19.
Hogg's next wicket, that of James Vince who lost his off stump when driving loosely, made the seamer the leading wicket-taker in this season's County Championship with 56.
The next two wickets were claimed by Simon Kerrigan, who had Sean Ervine caught on the leg-side boundary by Luke Procter and then had Neil McKenzie pouched at mid-on by Tom Smith when a delivery from the slow left-armer caught the South African's leading edge.
McKenzie's 44 was the most sizeable contribution to what was a limp Hampshire batting performance, and this was characterised by Chris Wood's farcical run out for six after Lancashire had claimed the extra half-hour at the end of the day.
But Adam Wheater and Matt Coles successfully defended the final overs of the day to take the match into its fourth morning.