SCOTT McGowan scored four goals as 1874 Northwich comfortably defeated Handsworth Parramore at Townfield Lane, as they progressed into the first qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The comprehensive victory for 1874 began just five minutes into the game, after a free kick on the edge of the Handsworth box was fired at the wall by Jake Parker.

The ball ricocheted into the path of Mike Koral, who easily slotted it in.

1874 pushed on to improve their early advantage, and created a chance when forwards Scott McGowan and Lee Knight combined well, with the former shooting low for the bottom right corner, only for the Handsworth keeper to push the ball past the post.

Despite Handsworth’s best efforts to keep the score down to one, a second would shortly be arriving.

It would be another set piece that 1874 would profit from, this time Parker heading Sam Hare’s corner past the keeper after 12 minutes.

1874 seemed to be in control, with both full-backs James Blair and Matthew Russell enjoying the freedom of the flanks going forward.

With around 30 minutes played, Russell found himself in space at least 25 yards away from goal, as he unleashed a left-footed strike that skimmed past the right post with the keeper beaten.

1874 continued to pressurise the Handsworth defence right up until half time, resulting in goals number three and four, both scored by McGowan.

After some good work by Parker on the right wing, he managed to deliver a cross for McGowan to convert number three, after he bounced the ball into the ground with his right foot, which made it more difficult for the keeper to have any chance of saving.

The fourth came just minutes later, after yet another corner caused the visitors trouble, this time the ball floated all the way to the back post where captain Matthew Wooley, who made his 251st appearance for the club, headed across the six-yard box with the keeper in no-man's land, for an unmarked McGowan to tap in.

McGowan, on a brace, almost completed a first-half hat-trick, after firing the ball towards the top-right corner outside the box, only for it to bounce down off the crossbar.

Half time came and the Handsworth coaching staff conducted their 15 minute break out on the pitch, seemingly giving a firm pep talk to their players, who understandably looked out on their feet after the 45 minutes they had just gone through.

With the second half underway, 1874 appeared less intensive as they did in the first, having seemingly got the job done at 4-0.

This allowed Handsworth to get a foothold in the game, but they failed to capitalise on the home side’s slow start.

1874 were able to gain back control of the game around the hour mark, and within minutes a chance was created, as Knight was played through one-on-one after a lofted pass by McGowan, but his effort was saved by the keeper's legs.

The home side controlled the action for the remaining minutes, seeing out the game for what was a well deserved result, but also managing to produce chances along the way.

Koral had efforts blocked well, and came even closer to adding a second goal for himself, as he burst forward from the right before shooting low for the keeper to tip the ball wide for a corner.

McGowan was able to latch on to the delivery from Hare at the near post, his flick glancing narrowly wide of the post.

With around six minutes to play, McGowan was given a gift to wrap up his much wanted hat-trick, as a Handsworth centre-back played the ball right into the striker’s path at the goal mouth, and McGowan simply passed the ball into the goal.

Less than a minute later, Knight stole the ball off the Handsworth right-back on the left wing and sent McGowan in for his fourth of the afternoon, 1874’s sixth in total, wrapping up a convincing display of attacking prowess.

Joe Dutton