THEY may have just moved in, but 1874 Northwich look at home already in Barnton.

A derby victory is uplifting no matter where it’s achieved, although this latest one against their old landlords was arguably more convincing than any that have gone before it.

The hosts were more assured than they had been putting away Padiham in their season opener last Saturday, and against better opponents.



Winsford United, two goals adrift inside four minutes, will rue not giving themselves a chance to prove as much.

To their credit, they steadied themselves.

And they had to; the alternative was a thrashing.

1874 got lucky with their first goal inside 60 seconds, Michael Koral’s cross looping over goalkeeper Michael Langley and finding the net off the inside of an upright.

There was nothing at all fluky about their second.

A blur of green shirts panicked a defender wearing a blue one into knocking the ball towards his number one.

However he was not set, and sliced horribly.

Marcus Dibble, not expecting to have to intervene, then lost possession to an alert Jake Parker before he could react and the midfielder swept into the net.

It looked as bad as it sounds.

The hosts could not keep up that tempo, but still they created chances.

Callum Gardner’s effort flashed past the far post following a short-corner before Ryan Mitchell’s header from Sam Hare’s free-kick skidded off-target too.

Parker prompted Langley to push a fiercely-struck shot around an upright after pinching possession again, this time after Dave Short failed to tame a bouncing ball.

Winsford boss Lee Duckworth had already sent on striker Sam Madeley before the break, withdrawing an anonymous D’Arcy O’Connor, and he changed formation again after it.

Blues were pushed back initially on the restart; Langley pushed away Gardner’s shot before then sprinting from his line to thwart Scott McGowan after Dibble failed to make a clean contact with a back-pass.

However they raised hopes they could fight back when Kyle McGonigle curved a perfectly-placed free-kick in off the post after Mitchell conceded a cheap foul.



The midfielder was on target too direct from a set-piece during a 3-1 win at Burscough last weekend.

1874 cursed their luck five minutes later when Dale Jennings contorted his body to head Sam Hind’s shot to safety from off his own goal-line after it had squirmed into the air of Langley.

The Winsford number one had already blocked McGowan’s shot earlier in the same sequence.

Koral then flashed an effort wide after an eye-catching burst from substitute Nathan Okome, sent on after Hare succumbed to a facial injury.

Jennings was again Blues’ saviour when he stopped Matthew Woolley’s header from creeping in before Parker wrestled ‘best goal’ honours from McGonigle.

After taking aim 30 yards from the target, he thumped a spectacular effort in off the crossbar.

An FA Cup clash with higher-ranked opponents awaits at the weekend, but 1874 couldn’t have prepared better.

1874 | 4-3-3 | Ward (GK), Hind, Mitchell, Blair, Russell, Hare (Okome 37), Matthew Woolley, Parker, Koral, McGowan, Gardner (Kennerley 75) Subs not used Knight, Cain, Ormrod Goals Koral 1, Parker 4, 79

Blues | 4-3-3 | Langley (GK), Lever, Dibble (Jenyons 67), Foster, Disney, O’Connor (Madeley 42), McGonigle, Jennings (Clarke 80), Marshall, Short, Cotterell Subs not used Coley, Elliott Goal McGonigle 52 Booked Jennings, Short, Madeley, Jenyons (all fouls)

Referee Alexander Kelly

Attendance 403