WAYNE Goodison felt his 1874 Northwich side benefited from their first sin-binning of the season in an impressive 2-0 home win against Bootle.

He felt the team lifted after Matty Russell was sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes and went on to achieve their 20th win of the season after he returned.

The North West Counties League Premier Division win leaves 1874 three points clear of Charnock Ridge, who drew 1-1 at Padiham, and have three games in hand.

Jake Parker put the Greens, now unbeaten in their past seven games, ahead a minute after Russell rejoined the action, curling a 20-yard effort into the net shortly before half-time.

And then Scott McGowan scored the second with a perfectly executed bottom-corner shot from the penalty spot in the 64th minute after he had been brought down in the box.

"They should be so proud of themselves with the way they've gone about that," said Goodison, who co-manages the team with Paul Bowyer.

"We had to match them and battle at times and show a different side to our game.

"It was a difficult day, a really strong opponent, but I thought we deserved the win.

"In the first 20 minutes we weren't great. I think the sin-binning showed that the lads can organise themselves and get through the 10 minutes, and I think it kicked us on a little bit."