1874 NORTHWICH reached the FA Vase second round for a fourth successive season after despatching league rivals Irlam on Saturday.

It is also a first victory since losing on penalties at Ossett a fortnight earlier.

The job was done by the break this time around.

Scott McGowan’s first attempt had scraped the crossbar before Taylor Kennerley, aided by a slight deflection, drilled past goalkeeper Lee White to put the visitors in front.

McGowan could not make a clean contact from Adam Whitlock’s driven cross shortly afterwards, while at the other end Marcus Perry fired into the side-netting for the hosts.

Kennerley doubled Northwich’s lead on 38 minutes when he blasted Paul Connor’s cross past White after Whitlock and Jake Parker combined earlier in the move.

Connor also provided an assist when 1874 added to their tally, this time McGowan nodding the ball over the line after it had glanced into his path off the woodwork.

The second-half started in deteriorating conditions, but that did not deter the home team from reducing their arrears within a minute of the restart.

Perry skipped round the back of 1874’s defence, and Gareth Mooney gleefully converted his centre from close range.

Custodian Greg Hall also had to react smartly to push aside Isaac Illidge’s attempt during Irlam’s best spell.

However the home team’s hopes of staging a recovery were dealt a blow on 65 minutes when McGowan cut back for Parker to thread a shot into the net through a crowd of bodies.

Northwich had served warning moments earlier when Kennerley, seeking a hat-trick, was thwarted by White’s parry.

Mooney twice had a glimpse of goal before full-time, although he failed to hit the target.

White intercepted Whitlock’s dangerous cross at the other end, but by then the outcome had long since been decided.

Irlam | White (GK), Harewood, Holt, Morrison, Mills, Ledson, Mooney, Illidge, Iceley, Boland (Hughes 73), Perry (Greene 80) Subs not used Cassell, Barlow, Pollitt Goal Mooney 46 Booked Illidge

1874 | Hall (GK), Connor, Woods, Pritchard, Mitchell (Lever 83), Jones, Whitlock (Haughton 80), Matthew Woolley, McGowan, Parker (Riley 75), Kennerley Subs not used Waite-Jackson, Spencer (GK) Goals Kennerley 10, 38 McGowan 41, Parker 65

Referee Richard Holmes

Attendance 174 

Match report by Garry Clarke