WINSFORD United waited half a century to play Northwich Victoria in a league fixture, and after this result will want to do so every week.

Blues were too good for their hosts from the start, and did not look likely to relinquish a lead established inside the opening minute when Callam Gardner drilled in from the edge of the box.

Michael Koral and Nathan Cotterell, making his first appearance of the campaign for Lee Duckworth’s men after spending pre-season with Nantwich, combined to tee him up.

The former then tested Vics’ goalkeeper Richie Mottram, while Paul Moore’s men suffered another blow when their leading scorer Brian Matthews –a former Winsford favourite – succumbed to an injury.

Winsford led 2-0 midway through the first half when Koral invited Gardner to attack on the right, and his cross to the back post was met by Scott Taylor with a thumping header.

Cotterell tried his luck, again working Mottram, as Blues dominated.

A third goal arrived on 33 minutes, this time when Danny Kerr deflected Koral’s driven cross into the net.

Northwich, conquerors of Padiham and City of Liverpool in their previous Premier Division fixtures, started the second period in determined mood.

Captain Reece Lyndon headed wide after meeting Stuart McDonald’s free kick, then McDonald’s fizzing cross missed out on a decisive touch it deserved.

It was Winsford’s turn to curse their bad luck when Koral limped off on 55 minutes, to be replaced by Danny Hudson, after he pulled up while chasing a through-ball.

Gardner flashed an effort off-target before the visitors settled the outcome when Damian Skolorzynksi – scorer of a spectacular goal in a 1-1 draw at Hanley on Wednesday night – shot with enough force to beat Mottram low to his left.

Substitute George Riley’s attempt was deflected over by a defender as Blues attempted to add further gloss to the result, while fellow replacement Chris Middleton could not hit the target from the resulting corner.

Cotterell was also denied a goal his individual performance perhaps deserved when Vics’ custodian palmed his final effort around an upright.

Vics | Mottram (GK), Lawrence (Shaw 76), McDonnell (Berrisford 68), Oppong, Lyndon, Bennett, McDonald, Walker, Gyimah, Matthews (Cobley 13), Marshall Subs not used Kavanagh, Smith

Winsford | Langley (GK), Skolorzynski, Bircumshaw, Kerr (Riley 74), Duckworth (Middleton 71), Foster, Taylor, Hopper, Cotterell, Koral (Hudson 55) Gardner Subs not used Steele, Moores Goals Gardner 1, Taylor 22, Kerr 33, Skolorzynski 65 Booked Skolorzynski, Taylor

Referee Jack Hall

Attendance 137