1874 NORTHWICH, victors in each of their five previous matches without conceding a goal, lost this one inside nine minutes.

That was long enough for their promotion rivals to score three times, completing a double over Ian Street’s men at the same time as swapping places with them in the table.

Worryingly, the visitors have not yet beaten any of the teams in the top six in a league game.

They will argue that the outcome might have been different had a foul on top scorer Mike Brandon inside the penalty area been punishment with the contest less than 60 seconds old.

It was not, and George Melling diverted Adnan Ahmed’s free kick past Matthew Conkie at the other end of the pitch shortly afterwards.

A second goal soon followed, this time Brandon Barski switching the ball to his left boot before blasting an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

When Ryan Stewart tripped Barski to concede a spot kick, converted by Peter Wright, the Admirals barely disguised their glee.

Matthew Ward, after he was impeded by Ben Hoskin, then stroked in a penalty for 1874 to reduce their arrears.

It proved not a catalyst, for debutant Darren Green – imported from higher-ranked Kendal Town – sent a shot against an upright.

So too did Stuart Wellstead from a direct free kick.

Nelson were better after the break too, Hoskin firing too high and Conkie denying another first-timer – former Ashton United midfielder Matty O’Neill and Ahmed with smart saves.

Melling was sent off as punishment for stopping Wellstead in full flight, but 1874 still could not recover.

Nelson Woodhead (GK), Lloyd (Nolan 50), Hodgkiss, Finch, Melling, Ahmed, Hoskin, O’Neill, Green (Brooks 90), Barski (Hession 81), Wright Subs not used none Goals Melling 1, Barski 4, Wright 9 (penalty)

1874 Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Farnworth, Duckworth, Stewart, Bailey (McGregor 78), Jones, Woods, Ward, Wellstead, Brandon Subs not used Bowyer, Crane Goal Ward 15 (penalty)

Referee John Higgins
Attendance 176