ALTHOUGH Northwich Victoria bowed out of the Cheshire Senior Cup quarter finals at higher-league Nantwich Town, they nearly got off to a dream start, writes Pete Tonge.

In the third minute a low cross from Saul Henderson was blasted over his own bar by Haywood.

As the game progressed Nantwich were playing the ball around quickly and in the 10th minute Walsh was played in by Saunders, but his shot was inches wide of Vics' net.

Next minute, Aaron Burns for Vics collected the ball just outside the area and made room for a shot but instead tried to play the ball into Henderson and the ball was cleared.

Nantwich took the lead in the 24th minute when Jimmy Lawrie escaped down the left and played in a low cross which somehow made its way all across the box to the far post where Saunders scrambled the ball into the back of the net.

Vics responded well, and a minute later could have been level when a defender just nicked the ball away from Henderson.

Then Ryan Winder was put through but his shot was well saved by Greg Hall in the Nantwich net.

The game then meandered until half time, with neither side creating much, but with Nantwich having most of the possession and playing the ball around quickly.

Vics started the second half well, and Henderson earned a free kick in the 47th minute just outside the box.

Henderson blasted the free-kick into the wall, and the ball was cleared.

Seven minutes later Brad Lynch, who had started the half well for Vics, picked the ball up and went past a couple of players before trying to lay the ball into Burns in the box, but the ball was cleared.

In the 58th minute, sloppy defending by Vics allowed Nantwich a second goal, as two chances to clear the ball weren't taken, and the ball fell to Malkin 25 yards out, and he fired a low shot into the corner of the net.

Vics tried to respond, and in the 70th minute, Aaron Burns forced the keeper into a save low to his left with a quick snap shot from the edge of the box.

However, Nantwich were well in control now, and forced a third goal in the 78th minute when Malkin was given a free header from a corner.

Vics: Hale, Henry, Clarke P ( Kenny 64'), Forbes, Barski, Camozzi, Clarke M, Winder, Lynch, Burns (Robinson 81'), Henderson (Powell 73'). Subs not used: Grindrod, Mannion.