11:13am Monday 3rd March 2014
By Andrew Simpson
1874 NORTHWICH scored twice inside the opening quarter of an hour when recording a routine win against struggling Daisy Hill.
It means Ian Street’s men close the gap to a promotion position to four points, completing with it a double in Division One against opponents without a victory since September.
This time, they did not need a late goal to settle the outcome.
Mike Brandon reacted swiftly when a defender failed to cut out a pass sent in his direction in the fourth minute, the front man shooting too powerfully for goalkeeper Jakub Oleksy to take his season’s tally to 27.
Stuart Wellstead and Matty Ward both sent attempts close to the target before Daley Woods doubled the hosts’ advantage on 13 minutes, looping a header out of Oleksy’s reach from Lee Jones’ cross.
Greg Travers dragged an effort across goal at the other end, but Northwich continued to look more likely scorers when Ward – twice – fired shots towards goal and Wellstead struck an upright.
In the second period, Lee Duckworth’s drive was diverted to safety by a defender while Oleksy was equal to attempts by Ward and Matthew Woolley.
The net-minder showed courage too when saving at Wellstead’s feet shortly afterwards.
A third goal arrived on 68 minutes, Ward sweeping a lofted pass into Wellstead’s path and he finished with conviction after nodding the ball beyond a retreating defence.
Substitute Chris Lunn, appearing in a league match for 1874 for the first time since switching from Alsager Town, conjured an opening for himself with a mazy dribble.
His scooped shot evaded Oleksy, but not a back-marker covering behind.
Ward was unlucky not to be rewarded with a goal for producing the game’s outstanding moment, spinning past two would-be tacklers on the edge of the box before shooting off target.
1874 Conkie (GK), Mitchell, Farnworth, Aston, Duckworth, Woods (Lunn 69), Woolley (Stewart 79), Jones (Bailey 85), Wellstead, Brandon, Ward Subs not used Thomas, McGregor Goals Brandon 4, Woods 13, Wellstead 68
Daisy Hill Oleksy (GK), Allcroft (Cocking 85), Hussey (Winstanley 79), Oldham, Mee, Parker, Harwood, Foster, Callaghan (Solademi 69), Travers, Green Subs not used Conway, Lancaster
Referee Peter Shacklady
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