WELL if you're going to top the tree at Christmas you might as well do it in style.

1874 Northwich triumphed 8-4 at Barnoldswick Town to go eight points clear in the North West Counties Premier Division.

Although the side co-managed by Wayne Goodison and Paul Bowyer took grip of the contest with two goals in the opening 25 minutes, adding another six was not on the radar at that stage.

Lee Knight went on to collect a second-half hat-trick though, while Callum Gardner and Scott McGowan each completed a brace.

Extraordinarily Ryan Shenton scored four goals in defeat, two of them coming in the last minute of the match.

For the record, 1874's scorers and times were Jake Parker (11), McGowan (25, 65), Gardner (39, 86), Knight (46, 69, 80).

Shenton reduced the gap at half-time to 3-1 with his 41st-minute strike while his others were clocked at 55, 90 and 91 minutes.

1874 supporters will see the result and performance as the perfect way to go into Boxing Day's 'derby' against Northwich Victoria at Wincham Park.

There will be some concern for Parker though, who was replaced after 14 minutes with an injury stemming from a heavy 50-50 challenge.