STEVE Wilkes said his players’ attitude allowed them to take control of an FA Vase encounter with Silsden on Saturday.

Northwich Victoria secured a place in the last 32 following a comfortable 3-0 victory at Wincham Park, where Brandon Barski, Andrew Fitzgerald and Joel Brownhill were on target.

“Everybody expected us to win,” said the Vics boss.

“And as a manager it becomes a fear that lads will be distracted by that.

“We weren’t, and we were on the front foot from the first minute.”

Barski met Harvey Whyte’s corner with a powerful header that flashed inside the near post to put the home team in front.

It was no coincidence.

Wilkes was a spectator at Burscough on Tuesday night when Silsden went down 3-2 in a North West Counties League fixture.

He said: “Sometimes people laugh when non-league managers go and watch other teams play.

“Burscough scored twice from a corner in midweek, both of them in that area, and so we worked on a routine at training.

“When it comes off like that then you don’t mind as much sitting in the cold at Ormskirk!”

Andrew Fitzgerald continued an impressive run of scoring form when he doubled Vics’ lead after goalkeeper Sam Lee had spilled Brownhill’s cross.

He formed a one-man barrier between the home team and more goals before Brownhill stroked a penalty-kick past him with time running out.

A shut-out at the other end means Wilkes’ side have yet to concede a goal on their run to the fourth round.

He added: “It’s not a bad stat that.

“We’ve worked on being better defensively, and I don’t think our goalkeeper has had a save to make.

“I’d have taken a 1-0 win before the start but it might have been five or six in the end.”