THE adaptability of the 1874 Northwich squad shone through as they moved a step closer to promotion.

Strugglers Hanley Town were thrashed 4-0 and with second-place Bootle losing at home to Rylands, Greens have now extended their lead at the top of the North West Counties League Premier Division to seven points.

1874 were without both of their first-choice centre-backs – Lee Jackson pulled out with illness while Mark Jones has a foot injury – so Matt Russell and skipper Matt Woolley filled in at the back.

In the end, the attackers did their jobs at the other end as Scott McGowan, Jake Parker, Lee Knight and Stuart Wellstead scored in a comfortable victory on the road.

“We’re really pleased,” co-manager Wayne Goodison told Matt Waters after the game.

“We’ve come into the game with our two centre-halves not fit to play so we’re happy that we’ve got through the game with a good level of performance.

“We were a bit critical of each other at half time in that we should have had more goals but in the end, it’s a great win.

“It makes no real difference to the way we play anyway, whoever plays in defence. We still defend in the same way.

“Sometimes, people have to go and play out of position – Lucas Weir had to go in at left-back for the last 10-15 minutes and did a great job.

“Sam Hare’s playing slightly differently as well as he took up Woolley’s position and I thought he was terrific.

“If you’re going to be a competitive side, you have to make the most of what you’ve got and I thought we did today.

“I know I’m probably boring people to death with it, but its all about performance for us and the performance level was really good again.

“We did the things we’re good at, in and out of possession.”

Additional reporting, Matt Waters