NORTHWICH Victoria made hard work beating a spirited Padiham side to progress through to the preliminary round of the FA Cup, but they managed it thanks to a Ryan Winder goal in the 77th minute.

Vics started brightly and forced a corner in the second minute after a James Cottee shot was deflected.

The corner eventually fell to Matty Birchall on the edge of the area who smashed a shot against the underside of the bar and the ball was cleared from the goal-line.

Padiham's first half-chance came in the 12th minute when a long throw into the box was only half cleared to a Padiham player, but his shot was comfortably over the bar.

The match then developed into a midfield battle with few chances being created by either team.

Callum Jones had an effort straight at the keeper after he created half a yard for himself in the 27th minute whilst Padiham came closest 10 minutes later when a low cross was flicked just over the bar by Ryan McKenna.

Just before half-time, first James Cottee had a stinging strike at goal which the keeper did well to punch out, but Padiham should have taken the lead moments later as Danny Morton got behind the Vics' defence but could only skew his shot wide.

A quiet start to the second half was punctuated by free-kicks and substitutions for both teams, but a major changing point came in the 64th minute as Padiham central defender Mark Ayres was sent off for an off the ball kick on Winder.

Vics then brought on the returning Darrhyl Mason and Saul Henderson with Winder making a crucial move back into the middle from out wide.

In the 73rd minute, Kieron Kenny came close as he headed a Winder corner just over the bar.

Finally the goal came, as a high ball was played down the left side of the Padiham box, and Henderson did brilliantly to flick the ball back to Winder who deftly beat his man and hammered the ball past Hamnett in the Padiham net to send the Vics' supporters ( and players) into wild celebrations.

Padiham then had no option but to push forward, and it nearly worked in the 83rd minute as Luke McKenna powerfully headed a corner goalwards but Joe Camozzi was in the right place to clear the ball off the Vics' line.

Vics survived one final scare in the last minute when Padiham had a powerful shot from close range but it was straight at Mike Hale who made a fine save to maintain Vics' slender lead.

Vics: Hale, Cook, Brew-Butler, Kenny, Camozzi, Winder, Clarke, Jones (Dunn 52'), Birchall ( Henderson 74'), Whyte, Cottee ( Mason 67'). Unused subs: Durnin, Woods, Newns, Sherlock.

Next matches :

Saturday 5th September: Away versus AFC Darwen 3.00pm kick off (Friendly)

Saturday 12th September: Home versus Charnock Richard 3.00pm kick off (FA Cup Preliminary Round)