NORTHWICH Victoria could not prevent leaders City of Liverpool from taking another step towards winning the North West Counties League Premier Division title on Tuesday.

The Purps had to come from behind to beat Vics, who took the lead inside five minutes when Billly Whittle headed in from a free-kick.

Jack Hazlehurst’s drive from distance cleared the bar by inches at the other end after Craig Cairns, Joe Holt and Tom Peterson had linked neatly.

At the other end, Joel Brownhill’s free-kick was fielded by goalkeeper Morgan Bacon.

He had to work harder to keep out Rob Doran’s powerful effort after Harvey Whyte’s pass set the forward on a path towards goal.

An equaliser followed on 36 minutes when captain Luke Denson converted with power at the back-post after Peterson had looped the ball his way.

The visitors responded, and Brownhill’s effort on the turn flashed past an upright.

City of Liverpool, seeking to complete a double over Steve Wilkes’ side, made the running during the early stages of the second-half.

And they took the lead on 59 minutes when Denson’s corner met by Daniel Dalton with a header that was blocked on the line before Peterson forced the loose ball over it.

Former Witton Albion duo Paul Williams, who had replaced injured Kevin McEllin in midfield, and Anthony Brown then combined at a set-piece that saw the latter head over.

The Purps continued to apply pressure and Cairns sent a cross towards Peterson that skewed off his striker-partner’s shoulder and into goalkeeper Danny Taberner’s arms.

And Vics almost made their hosts pay when Whyte sent Darrhyl Mason into s shooting space with eight minutes left only for him to slice wide of the target.

“I thought we looked tired in the second-half and that’s probably because the game last Saturday had taken so much out of us,” said Steve Pickup, Vics’ assistant manager, afterwards.

Purps | Bacon (GK), Denson, Thompson, McEllin (Williams 66), Dalton, Brown, Holt, Clair, Cairns, Peterson (McDonald 85), Hazlehurst (Forbes 82) Subs not used Foy, Owens Goals Denson 36, Peterson 59 Booked Clair (foul)

Vics | Taberner (GK), Camozzi, Monson, Craig, Fitzgerald, Barski, Whyte (Broughton 62), Whittle (Clarke 85), Doran (Darr 73), Brownhill, Mason Subs not used Cooke, Cottam (GK) Goal Whittle 4

Attendance 339