1874 NORTHWICH will rarely have a game in which they are firmer favourites than Saturday.

Nine points clear at the North West Counties League Premier Division summit, they welcome a Litherland REMYCA side rooted to the foot of the table to Townfield, kick off 3pm.

In November’s reverse fixture, 1874 ran riot and racked up a 9-0 victory – the joint-biggest winning margin in their short history – with five different goalscorers and two players bagging hat-tricks.

It is easy to see why observers would have this down as a home banker, but Greens co-managers Paul Bowyer and Wayne Goodison will not be viewing it that way.

“The game at their place has no bearing whatsoever on Saturday from our point of view,” the latter said.

“They’re not a bad side – we were just very, very good on that day and everything went in for us.

“We had them watched against Bootle, who were very lucky to beat them 1-0 on Boxing Day.

“We know they are going to come here and work really hard. Again, we are probably going to have to be very patient.

“As long as we turn up right and take care of our performance, the rest will take care of itself.”

The theme of keeping their own house in order has been the undertone of a campaign that has put 1874 firmly on the promotion trail.

Games in hand for rivals have until this point been a slight cloud on the horizon.

Longridge Town are the team that could get closest to them if they win all of their three games in hand, but even then they would not be able to pass.

It means 1874’s destiny is firmly in their hands at the halfway stage of the campaign.

Rylands were the latest team to fall victim to them on Saturday – James Ormrod’s late winner secured a 2-1 victory that took them to 50 points for the season.

As ever, though, Goodison is remaining grounded and unruffled.

“There’s lots of games to go and lots of twists and turns to come,” he said.

“Are we happy to be where we are? Of course – we’d rather be there than in mid-table.

“All we’ve said from day one is that if we focus on getting our performance levels right, we will be competitive in every game.

“That’s what’s happened all season – we have stayed competitive and consistent and we’re getting the rewards currently.”

On Tuesday evening, 1874 have another home game as NWCFL First Division South side Cheadle Heath Nomads are the visitors to Townfield in the Cheshire Senior Cup second round, kick off 7.45pm.