FIVE different scorers helped to manoeuvre 1874 Northwich past Cheadle Heath Nomads in a comfortable opening round to kick-start the defence of the Macron Challenge Cup.

Callum Gardner (1min), Matthew Woolley (42), Michael Koral (48), Taylor Kennerley (86) and Scott McGowan (89) ensured a safe 5-1 passage against the North West Counties First Division South mid-table side.

Gardner was one of several changes in the line-up and he could not have got off to a better start, capitalising on a one-two with Scott McGowan in the opening exchanges.

Nathan Okeme returned to the starting line-up and his precise pass allowed Michael Koral to break away for the third goal three minutes into the second half to effectively seal the result.

Joe Duckworth, signed the day before from Winsford United, came off the bench and produced a peach of a pass behind the defence for Scott McGowan to nail the fifth goal.

It was a cross from Sam Hare that allowed Matt Woolley to slide home the second goal just before the interval.

For the fourth goal Kennerley made space for himself by cutting inside and finding the net with a sweet finish.

"We're pleased," said 1874 co-manager Wayne Goodison.

"A lot of our play was good.

"We made a couple of changes which affects little things but in the main we're really happy."

He added: "We said before the game that at the minute we've got a really strong squad and everybody's capable of playing.

"There were people we wanted to play today.

"Cal did really well and Harry Cain's got through 80 minutes, not far off being able to get him through a full game so hopefully that will come for him.

"Nathan's been chomping at the bit to play so it was good for him."

Next up is a visit to neighbours Witton Albion in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday at Wincham Park, kick-off 7.45pm.

"Ryan Mitchell trained on Thursday and came through it ok, so we'll see how he is over the weekend but we might involve him," said Goodison.

"Jack Tinning was on the bench today so he's ok.

"It's another cup competition and we want to try and stay in it.

"I think it'll be a test for us to see how we compare with a really good side.

"We know their guys pretty well as we see them on a Thursday night at training and we talk a lot.

"We know they'll be prepared really well. It'll be a tough game."