WITTON Albion secured promotion to the Northern Premier League’s top-flight with a 2-1 win over Spalding United on Saturday afternoon.

The club makes a return to the Premier Division just two years after being relegated.

After finishing as runners-up to Shaw Lane, they won a play-offs semi-final against AFC Rushden & Diamonds on Tuesday.

Goals from Bradley Bauress, the team’s leading scorer, and captain Anthony Gardner then ensured a side managed by Carl Macauley were victors too in the final.

Their rise to the third tier of semi-professional football, and Northwich Victoria’s demotion, means they will play two divisions higher next season for the very first time.

A crowd of more than 800 watched on at Wincham Park, where Bauress put the home team ahead on 66 minutes with a thumping volley.

Spalding stunned their hosts shortly afterwards when striker Leon Mettam equalised with a similarly spectacular strike from distance.

However Witton, who finished 17 points clear of their guests in the league table, were the ones celebrating after the final whistle thanks to Gardner’s decisive goal – his first of the campaign.

“These players have restored pride to our club,” chairman Mark Harris told Witton’s gathered supporters before their favourites were presented with medals and a trophy.

Cries of ‘We are going up’ rang around the ground.

Macauley, who spent two seasons with Albion as a player during the 1990s, has been in charge since October 2015.