JAKE Parker’s header with two minutes left ensured 1874 Northwich maintain a record of winning every meeting with Runcorn Town.

The midfielder steered a near-post header into the net from Adam Whitlock’s corner to settle the outcome of an encounter his side finished with 10 men following Lee Jackson’s dismissal.

A second caution, awarded for a foul after he had already been cautioned for dissent, means the full-back will miss next weekend’s FA Vase quarter-final.

It was the only blemish on an afternoon when 1874 hosted a league game in Northwich for the first time and put behind them a midweek defeat against Ashton Athletic.

Runcorn, beaten now in their past four Premier Division matches, were on the back-foot from the start.

Their goalkeeper, debutant Adam Reid, turned behind Shelton Payne’s cross in the second minute and saved smartly when Scott McGowan called him into action from the resulting corner.

However the striker found the net shortly afterwards when he reached Payne’s pass before the custodian and fired into an empty net after skipping around him.

Runcorn rallied, applying pressure at the other end, before Kazim Waite-Jackson’s shot flashed wide following fine approach play from new recruit Sam Freakes.

An equaliser arrived after half-an-hour when Simon Thelwell headed in from close-range after a corner was flicked on.

The Runcorn captain had earned the flag-kick after tackling Northwich number one Greg Hall when he attempted to dribble clear.

However the goalkeeper made amends when he stretched fully to palm clear Thelwell’s attempt direct from a free-kick two minutes later.

He repeated the trick when the front man raced clear early in the second-half, this time shooting on the volley.

Marcus James might have netted from the corner that followed, only for a defender to throw his body in the way of his goal-bound effort.

Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison sent on Ryan Jackson and Parker in an attempt to find a winning combination, and the latter’s 11th goal of the campaign vindicated the management duo’s decision.

1874 | Hall (GK), Connor, Lee Jackson, Pritchard, Mitchell, Jones, Whitlock, Freakes (Parker 73), McGowan, Waite-Jackson (Matthew Woolley 46), Payne (Ryan Jackson 66) Subs not used Riley, Lever Goals McGowan 7, Parker 88 Booked Pritchard, Mitchell, Lee Jackson Sent off Lee Jackson (second caution)

Runcorn | Reid (GK), Turner, Evans, James (Wilson-Jones 90), Dowling, McManus, Holt, Exell (Roxburgh 76), Thelwall, Reed (Cairns 72), Hassall Subs not used Maguire, Jarrett Goal Thelwell 30 Booked Dowling, McManus

Referee Matthew Corlett

Attendance 290

Match report by Garry Clarke