KENDAL inflicted upon Northwich their biggest defeat since, well, the last time they hammered them.
Few who were there will forget the six-goals drubbing Lee Ashcroft’s men dished out to Vics last season and, while they stopped at four this time, their superiority was similarly stark.
Put simply, they ran riot.
They raced – literally and metaphorically – into a three-goals lead inside a quarter hour, attacking with a verve that left their guests gasping for air.
Gary McEvatt ghosted clear to finish with a flourish on two minutes, repeating the trick soon afterwards when Kevin Leadbetter’s pass split Vics’ porous defence.
When Carl Osman was floored by Ian Kearney’s ill-timed tackle – for which the visitors’ captain was booked – Leadbetter blasted in the resulting penalty.
Referee Ian Hussin showed mercy seconds later when Vics’ skipper sent McEvatt sprawling. He was wrong not to show a red card.
The last time Northwich showed such defensive amnesia – at Nantwich in November – their pride at least remained intact after a gallant recovery.
Gone is the gumption to perform a repeat trick now.
Ryan Wade, a scorer from Vics’ first shot on target at Worksop on Saturday, almost matched that feat when making Craig Dootson dive to his right five minutes before the break.
Northwich flickered, nothing more, after the interval when substitute Michael Clarke and Tom Field forced Marc Joseph to twice smuggle clear off the goalline from the same attack.
When another replacement, Steve Abbott, smacked a shot against an upright there was at least hope to cling to.
It was a fleeting feeling, for McEvatt returned a first half favour to Leadbetter who slide a fourth emphatic finish past Hinchliffe on 57 minutes to settle the outcome.
Deflated, Vics lost direction.
Kendal could afford to relax as a result, threatening a fifth goal when Mark Jackson’s rising shot was clawed clear by Hinchliffe.
The hosts, victors only once in their past half dozen matches, continued to attack with purpose.
Vics, seeking a way to stop them, changed formation three times.
Abbott’s stoppage time consolation, so stopping Kendal from keeping their sheet clean for the first time since October, provided a crumb of comfort.
A Chester victory against wooden spoonists Burscough tonight, Wednesday, will take their points advantage into double figures for the first time.
It’s an ominous prospect.
Vics’ Star Man Tom Field. He looked most hurt by his team’s humbling.
The former Chester midfielder continued to scrap, even after the cause became a lost one, fuelled by a mixture of frustration and pride.
He stood out as a consequence.
Kendal (4-5-1) Dootson (GK), Winters, Gray, Joseph, Williams, Osman (Knowles 81), Farrell, Dunn, Leadbetter, Jackson (Donnelly 72), McEvatt (Kilifin 78)
Subs not used Tucker, Newton
Goals McEvatt 2, 9 Leadbetter 16 (penalty), 57
Booked Jackson, Joseph (both fouls)
Vics (4-2-3-1) Hinchliffe (GK), Disney, Kearney, Smyth, Fitzpatrick, Field, Roddy (Abbott 46), Wade, Riley, Woolfe (Clarke 46), Evans (Ennis 76)
Subs not used Collins, Armstrong
Goal Abbot 90 (+1)
Booked Kearney, Abbott (both fouls), Field (kicking the ball away)
Referee Ian Hussin (Liverpool)