STEVE Wilkes admitted the result was more important than the performance after Northwich Victoria recorded a fourth successive win in the North West Counties League.

It is their longest sequence in the Premier Division this season and sends them up to fourth in the table.

“It wasn’t pretty,” said the Vics boss.

“We knew it would be hard because they’re in a relegation battle and we were coming off the high of a cup win.”

The visitors made the early running and Joel Brownhill directed a shot straight at goalkeeper Ross Heywood.

Abbey Hey’s number one had to produce his best though when Brian Matthews met Harvey Whyte’s cross on the volley.

Tom Murray’s free-kick went close at the other end before Matthews dribbled past three defenders and drilled a shot narrowly wide of the target.

A breakthrough arrived on 27 minutes when Brownhill found the far corner after Matthews and Whyte combined in the build-up.

Heywood blocked Brownhill’s next attempt with his legs early in the second-half and Whyte sent the loose ball over the bar.

Vics ought to have doubled their lead on 55 minutes when Matthews scooped over from close-range after Jordan Darr’s initial attempt had struck the crossbar.

Wilkes sent on new recruits Michael Roddy and Lewis Brownhill, Joel’s brother, for their first appearance as substitutes.

Daniel Hopkins had the clearest sight of goal for Abbey Hey but his shot was high.

The visitors had opportunities to increase their tally before the final whistle.

Whyte, with only Heywood to beat, slid his shot past the post before Joel Brownhill again shot too close to the home team’s custodian after running clear on goal.

Wilkes added: “We created plenty of chances and the score-line should have been more comfortable than it was.”

Vics | Taberner (GK), Camozzi, Kenny, Barski, Fleming (Lewis Brownhill 75), Whyte (Craig 80), Cooke (Roddy 70), Craig, Darr (Doran 80), Joel Brownhill, Matthews Subs not used Clarke, Fitzgerald Goal Joel Brownhill 27

Referee Lewis Raper

Attendance 85