THE clean sheets keep turning up like buses, writes Pete Tonge.

After waiting four months for one, Wednesday night's third in a row in 2020 earned Northwich Victoria three more valuable points and a climb of three places in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Front man Saul Henderson (72) and substitute Dylan Glass (90) scored the goals that sent Barnoldswick Town packing from Wincham Park.

Henderson's well-taken goal was reward for his work in holding up the ball and link play with Aaron Burns in what was another determined controlled display by Vics.

There was a quiet start to the match, with Barnoldswick having the first effort after seven minutes when a shot was fired way over the bar.

Three minutes later, Vics debutant Ashley Dunn found himself clear down the right and tried to square the ball back across the middle but Barnoldswick just about managed to scramble the ball clear before it reached a Vics player.

Barnoldswick then earned a free-kick about 30 yards out wide on their left, which was drilled in and met by the run of Marc Young whose flicked header forced Mike Hale in the Vics' net into a diving save to his left.

Vics were now coming into the game more, and after 16 minutes had a penalty shout as Burns linked up well with Henderson and drove between two Barnoldswick defenders and fell to the ground under the challenge. No penalty was given though!

Four minutes later, it was Burns again looking dangerous as he jinked across the edge of the area and fired a shot in just wide of the post.

Vics were controlling the game now, although chances were far and few between.

Henderson got in front of his man at a corner but couldn't direct his header from a tight angle.

More good play was produced by Vics as Tom Powell knocked the ball down well for Tom Kilifin but he dragged his shot wide.

The best move of the match happened after 39 minutes when Kilifin turned his man superbly and fired a cross into Henderson who controlled the ball well and laid it off to the onrushing Powell but his slotted shot was inches wide.

After 41 minutes, Vics thought they had scored under slightly bizarre circumstances as a corner was floated in under the bar and claimed by Jack Little in the Barnoldswick net who then appeared to carry the ball back into his own net, but the linesman said no.

The second half began the same way as the first half had ended with Vics looking the better team.

They had a good chance after 55 minutes when Burns broke free and managed to slot Henderson in, but his shot was deflected just wide.

Two minutes later, another good chance as Burns again was clear but hesitated and delayed his shot and the Barnoldswick defence managed to get back and clear the ball to safety.

Although Vics appeared to be in control, they were always susceptible to a break away from Barnoldswick and after 69 minutes a cross was whipped in and found Richard Seear unmarked in the box, and he really should have done better than putting his header well wide.

It was a warning that they took heed of as, after 72 minutes, Burns picked the ball up in midfield and beautifully found the run of Henderson who calmly dinked the ball over the onrushing keeper to put the Vics one up. Good finish! Three minutes later, it was nearly two, as Powell escaped down the left and laid the ball to substitute Dylan Glass but his shot was straight at the keeper.

A few minutes later, Vics again left Seear free in the area but again he failed to hit the target with his header.

Vics finally made the game safe in the 90th minute, when Henderson headed for the corner flag to wind down time, but then cut back and played a delightful cross into the middle for Glass to skilfully guide the ball into the net.

Vics: Hale, Henry, Clarke P, Dunn, Barski, Camozzi, Clarke M, Powell (Robinson 91'), Kilifin (Glass 70'), Burns (Dorney 81'), Henderson.