WAYNE Goodison described 1874 Northwich's 1-0 win at Whitchurch Alport as outstanding.

Scott McGowan's 18th goal of the season – a 64th-minute strike from the penalty spot - separated the two promotion rivals after a fierce battle at Yockings Park on Monday.

"To go to Whitchurch on a Monday night, a working day, driving for over two hours for some of them, getting there a little bit late because of traffic, to have problems like that and to then go out there and do that is outstanding and hats off to the players," said co-manager Goodison.

"Teams are going to be competitive against us and challenge us physically. We have to compete with that and we do.

"We competed, matched them and imposed our quality on them.

"I know it was a penalty that won it but we had other chances as well."

With three changes to the starting side that drew 0-0 with Ashton Athletic at the weekend, including James Ormrod in the centre of defence, 1874 created the most chances.

Jake Parker hit the post in the first half and McGowan had a second goal ruled out for offside.

But the winning spot kick came from Harry Cain being brought down.

The win puts 1874 back in the North West Counties Premier Division top spot, prior to second-place Charnock Richard – two points behind but having played two games more – visiting bottom side Litherland REMYCA tomorrow.

1874 continue their defence of the Macron Cup when they visit Rylands in the third round on Saturday, kick-off 3pm, before hosting Burscough in the league on Tuesday, 7.45pm.