HARRY Cain helped 1874 Northwich make it a day to remember in Blackpool.

With games in hand on the teams above, 1874 had the perfect opportunity to capitalise and take the top spot if they won against struggling Squires Gate - and they did just that.

Cain rattled in the third and fourth goals, with Taylor Kennerley and Jake Parker also netting, as the 4-0 final scoreline was assembled in the first half.

1874 were dealt a blow before the game as record goal scorer Scott McGowan was deemed unfit to start due to a hamstring injury, so the side saw an enforced change with Lee Knight leading the line and Harry Cain coming into the starting XI.

This didn’t phase the greens though.

1874 started brightly, pursuing with their high press and looking to force errors on the Gate backline.

The first opportunity came 10 minutes as Cain’s effort was cleared off the line by the Squires Gate defence, with the keeper left for dead.

However, 1874 soon broke the deadlock.

A superb ball from Matt Russell found Jake Parker whose effort was palmed into the path of Kennerley to fire home.

Soon after the advantage was doubled.

A through ball from Knight found Parker who stroked the ball past the keeper from a tight angle to give Squires Gate a mountain to climb.

1874 nearly added a third just minutes later as Knight broke free in the penalty area but his audacious chip beat the keeper and narrowly beat the bar too.

The greens, minutes later, did make it three.

A relentless piece of attacking play saw Cain brought down in the area which awarded 74 a penalty which Cain converted, giving the greens the three points 60 minutes before time.

Just before the interval Cain added a fourth, a superb volley into the bottom corner wrapping up the tie in an inch-perfect first-half performance.

Squires Gate made all three substitutions for a second half which followed a slightly different pattern to the first as 1874 couldn’t make the possession count in the final third, partially down to an excellent goalkeeping display from Jordan Gidley.

1874 came close to adding a fifth in the 73rd minute through a thumping effort from Lee Jackson, who was denied by Gidley.

The half became a scrappier affair with 1874 not making possession around the penalty area count, while Squires Gate failed to threaten all afternoon thanks to Mark Jones and Jackson.

However, the hosts were given a golden opportunity to take something from the game as a penalty was awarded five minutes from time but a first-class save from Tony Aghayere kept his clean sheet intact.

Saturday’s win saw 1874 climb to the top of the North West Counties Premier Division in superb style ahead of Tuesday’s clash versus Hanley Town.

Matt Waters