NORTHWICH Victoria progressed in the Macron League Cup on Wednesday as a reward for a demolition job on in-form opponents.

Hosts Hanley had won five of their previous six matches, but late goals from Josh Thorpe and Mackenzie Faulkner served only to spare their blushes.

“The result flatters them,” reflected Vics boss Steve Wilkes.

“They couldn’t cope with our forward play, and I was smiling all the way on a journey home up the M6.”

Hanley, second in the North West Counties League top-flight, trailed 2-0 inside five minutes.

Kieron Kenny, making his debut, glanced a header past goalkeeper Reece Quinn from Jay Hart’s free-kick.

A second goal followed for Yaw Gyimah, who reacted quickly to bury a loose ball after the home team’s custodian had saved his initial diving header from Daniel Johnson’s cross.

Former Witton Albion striker Neville Thompson halved his side’s arrears when he controlled strike-partner Theo Stair’s pass before letting fly.

Northwich restored a two-goal lead after half an hour when Brian Matthews’ deft header converted another set-piece taken by Hart.

The former Padiham attacker added his name to the score-sheet on 55 minutes, steering substitute Oscar Durnin’s cross into the net to make it 4-1.

Both teams were then reduced to 10 men following the dismissals of Martin Stanyer and Gyimah, the latter for retaliating to a cynical foul by the Hanley midfielder.

A brawl involving almost every player on the field followed, although only Stair received a caution for his part.

Vics moved further in front shortly after the restart when Matthews claimed his 19th goal of the campaign from another clever Hart assist.

Thorpe prodded in from a corner that fell kindly, and Hanley closed a gap between the teams further when Faulkner netted from close-range after Vics’ goalkeeper Mike Donlon had parried Thompson’s shot.

The visitors created a final chance when Hart teed up full-back Daniel Johnson, but his powerful strike was diverted to safety by Quinn.

Wilkes added: “I was made up for Yaw; he’s been patient after new forwards arrived at the club and at one stage considered leaving.

“He’s worked hard in training and also when he’s come on as a substitute, so it was great to see him score a goal everybody has been willing him to get.”

Vics | Donlon (GK), Grant, Kenny, Barksi, Johnson, Bennett, Bickett, Gorman (Durnin 46), Matthews (Walker 85), Gyimah, Hart (Shaw 88) Sub not used Lawrence Goals Kenny 2, Gyimah 5, Matthews 27, 61, Hart 55 Booked Durnin, Hart Sent off Gyimah

Attendance 87

Match report by Jamie Dewsbury