NORTHWICH Victoria took exactly what they had wanted from a meeting with Whitchurch on Saturday.

A third successive win in the North West Counties League, one that avenges a defeat against promoted Alport in September, sends them into their most important match of the season next weekend in high spirits.

“It was a perfect afternoon,” reflected manager Steve Wilkes.

“We were comfortable, and everybody came through unscathed.”

Darryhl Mason ought to have put the hosts in front at Wincham Park the opening 15 minutes only to lift his shot over the crossbar after Rob Doran had flicked on Joel Brownhill’s cross.

Alport’s best chance arrived after half an hour when Arron Johns ran clear but Vics goalkeeper Danny Taberner denied him with a boot that deflected the striker’s shot past a post.

It felt like an even more important save when Brandon Barski met Brownhill’s corner at the far post with a header that found the net via a slight deflection off a defender – his fifth goal of the campaign.

A scrappy start to the second-half was interrupted by Leon Ashman’s crude late challenge on Mason which stirred the home team.

Harvey Whyte wasted a chance to double their lead on 68 minutes, firing too close to Whitchurch custodian Dave Parton who smothered the ball at the second attempt after an initial parry.

Doran had steered Brownhill’s quickly-taken throw into the midfielder’s path in the build-up.

The visitors, victors in only one of their previous seven Premier Division matches, battled on without looking likely to cut open Vics’ defence.

And the game was put out of their reach on 75 minutes when Mason diverted Brownhill’s powerful strike into the net after substitute Brian Matthews’ jinking run had picked out the latter.

Whitchurch responded when substitute Matty Ashbrook’s looping header dipped too late to trouble Taberner.

Vics | Taberner (GK), Camozzi, Fitzgerald (Kenny 59), Barski, Fleming, Whittle (Craig 73), Cooke, Whyte, Doran (Matthews 73), Brownhill, Mason Subs not used Clarke, Darr Goals Barski 39, Mason 75

Alport | Parton (GK), Marley, Chilcott, Campion, Ashman, Minshall, Griffiths, Skelton (Johnson 76), Hughes (Ashbrook 61), Howell, Johns (Pickerill 77) Subs not used Bridge, O’Connor Booked Skelton, Ashman (both fouls)

Referee Jake Top

Attendance 211

Additional reporting by Jamie Dewsbury