BRIAN Matthews scored a landmark goal for Northwich Victoria when they brushed aside lowly West Didsbury & Chorlton.

The striker glanced in Joel Brownhill’s cross inside five minutes at Wincham Park to set Steve Wilkes’ side on a course for victory and celebrated his 50th strike in the club’s colours.

He was denied a second when West goalkeeper Marcus Burgess parried a rising drive.

Joe Shaw sent an attempt over the bar at the other end before Vics doubled their lead when Darrhyl Mason met a corner with an emphatic header.

The moved further on front on 32 minutes when Brownhill’s low cross struck the heel of West’s Joel Dixon and diverted into the corner.

There was some concern for Vics, who had to replace both Dom Craig and Jack Fleming before the interval after they both sustained an injury.

Burgess was busier than Danny Taberner, his opposite number, and made smart stops to thwart Brownhill and then Matthews from the follow-up.

A fourth goal arrived on 78 minutes when Brownhill converted from the penalty spot before Mason teed up substitute Jordan Darr to convert at the back post.

There was still time left for Brownhill to double his personal tally for the evening when he intercepted a loose pass before running clear and sliding a neat finish under Burgess.

“I’m happy with the professionalism of the players from the first minute,” said Wilkes.

“It’s always difficult when you’ve played in such a big game previously, plus we made five changes to the starting line-up too, and it would have been understandable if we started slowly.

“To score after three minutes was a perfect start.”

Vics | Taberner (GK), Lewis Brownhill, Fleming (Camozzi 39), Winder, Grimshaw, Barski, Craig (Whittle 16), Clarke (Darr 64), Matthews, Joel Brownhill, Mason Subs not used Connolly, Doran Goals Matthews 3, Mason 22, Dixon 32 (own goal), Joel Brownhill 78, 90 (+3), Darr 87

Attendance 151