THE result reflected 1874 Northwich’s superiority in Tuesday’s replay, and Northwich Victoria boss Paul Moore admitted it showed a gap his side need to narrow.

Their spirit, and sheer will, inspired a comeback from 2-0 down during the teams’ first meeting last weekend.

However the visitors could not carry that momentum into the re-run, and instead succumbed meekly after conceding two goals before the break.

Moore said: “I feel positive that we ran a side as good as they are close.

“However I’m disappointed at how we’ve gone out of the competition; the better team won, I’ve no grumbles about that, but we didn’t play with the same intensity.

“We were poor, and we’ll lose most weeks if we perform as badly as we did in the first half.

“There’s a lesson to learn, and we have to be willing to dig in when we visit a place as tough to win at as this.

“That might mean we play ugly, but sometimes that’s necessary.”

Adam Whitlock and Kazim Waite-Jackson netted in the opening period to establish a two-goal lead for 1874, and they protected it in relative comfort.

Sam Marshall had the clearest glimpse of goal for Vics, but shot too close to goalkeeper Greg Hall.

Moore said: “I had a good chat with the players at half-time to get them into a better frame of mind.

“They’re better than that, and it’s a shame the second half just fizzled out.

“We need time to become more consistent, and there will be more peaks and troughs in the next few weeks, but I’ve assembled a squad I’ve got faith in.

“We’ll regroup, and get ready now to play Padiham in our first league game.”