NORTHWICH Victoria did what they had to, and prolonged a battle to avoid being relegated for at least another week.

A win for Loughborough, at fellow-strugglers Rugby, means the three rivals are separated by four points with three matches left.

And Dynamo are due at Wincham Park on Wednesday.

Paul Moore’s men will start that game buoyed by winning only their fourth away game of the campaign.

Two of those have been since he replaced Adam Lakeland in the dugout.

A dour first half gave little indication of what would follow later.

Danny South’s drive from distance prompted Northwich goalkeeper Dylan Forth to save at full stretch, while Sheffield skipper Lee Cooksey’s header from Matt Roney’s cross dropped wide of an upright.

The visitors’ best chance fell to Favour Imade, but his header from Niall Sultan’s centre was too high.

They broke through after an hour, when Adam Lawrence ventured forward from full-back to steer in Imade’s assist after John Bennett’s cute pass had picked out the front man.

South headed wide as Club attempted to respond, but Vics continued to threaten and Jack Kelleher’s prodded attempt was palmed to safety by goalkeeper Chris Butt.

The former Colwyn Bay forward was not to be denied though, and he headed powerfully his second goal in as many matches to double his side’s lead on 79 minutes.

Sheffield halved their arrears in the last minute when Pat Lindley hooked in after substitute Brad Nicholson’s long throw reached him inside the penalty area.

Sheffield | Butt (GK), Royles, Hanna (Nicholson 46), Lindley, Cooksey, Magee, Roney, Goodwin, South, Ashmore (Hamid 80), Denton (Marsden 46) Subs not used Morton, Haystead Goal Lindley 89 Booked South

Vics |Forth (GK), Lawrence, Mannion, Fitzgerald, Short, Bennett, Clarke, Cesaire, Kelleher (Matthews 82), Imade, Sultan Sub not used Shaw Goals Lawrence 60, Kelleher 79 Booked Clarke

Referee David Hunt (Warsop)

Attendance 186

Match report by Jamie Dewsbury