Ending a wait to beat 1874

I think the fans enjoyed that one; I’m made up they’ve had a great day.

It’s a lift for the club as well because they’d never beaten 1874 previously and now that monkey is off our back.

We play them again in a semi-final next month and that’s going to be tasty now isn’t it?

And deserving it too

Both sides created chances but I felt ours were better.

It was a blow to concede a goal right on half-time but we sat the lads down and told them ‘We haven’t started yet’ and I didn’t think we’d played well.

We came out and scored two good goals in the second-half and Joel Brownhill had a great chance to get us another.

He should have taken it but if anything his control was good and he ended up striking the ball with his studs.

Northwich Guardian:

Scott McGowan's shot is blocked by goalkeeper Danny Taberner during Northwich Victoria's 3-2 win against 1874 Northwich in the North West Counties League's top-flight at Wincham Park on Saturday. Picture: Ian Dutton

Did you feel edgy after Scott McGowan’s penalty?

It was soft, and gave them a lift.

We had to show some character after that and I think had it been earlier in the season then we’d have let them in again and drawn 3-3.

There’s a bit of steel about us now though.

Listen, Scott McGowan is always a threat and you have to be on your mettle at every moment.

But we saw it out well and used corners and throw-ins effectively to look after the ball.

That was so important because when we went 3-1 up I turned around and saw my wife and son up on their feet.

At that point I just wanted everybody to calm down because there were still 20 minutes left.

An approach that worked

We knew they’d want to play out from the back and that suited us; we’ve three big, strong guys up top and I felt we could pen them in.

The goalkeeper’s kicking isn’t the best and on a few occasions they didn’t clear their lines properly.

It was our plan to press them as high up the field as we could, although I don’t think we were as effective doing that in the second-half.

Before the game I had to make a tough call to leave out Dom Craig and play Matty Clarke and that was hard.

I felt he’d give us more defensively; he wins tackles and headers, plus he’s a Northwich kid and so knows what this game is all about.

We had to speak to him and warn him not to go too far but I felt he did brilliantly in there for us with Brad Cooke.

Northwich Guardian:

Manager Steve Wilkes asked Joel Brownhill and the other members of Northwich Victoria's attacking trident to press 1874 Northwich high up the field during Saturday's derby encounter at Wincham Park. Picure: Ian Dutton

In praise of Rob Doran

He gives central defenders a nightmare doesn’t he?

He came up to me and apologised afterwards, telling me he wasn’t himself our there!

He had a slow start because he hadn’t played for more than a year when we signed him and that’s difficult for any player because sometimes your head is telling you you’re ready but the legs aren’t.

I think he’s getting back to his best and nobody works harder than he does – that’s his 16th goal of the season and long may this run of form continue.

Where from here?

We’ve got to take this into an important game [against West Didsbury & Chorlton] on Wednesday now.

That won’t be easy because they’ve picked up under a new manager.

After that we play Whitchurch and they’ll come to Wincham Park and raise their game as well.

Ideally, we’d like to go into the game against Histon on the back of four successive wins – that would be great.

What I would add though is that our home form did need to improve after we lost here against Bootle and then Barnoldswick so it’s nice to get three points on the board.