JAKE Parker made a near-instant impact as a substitute after scoring a goal that put 1874 Northwich out of Ashton Athletic’s reach at the weekend.

It means his side progress to the FA Vase fourth round for the first time, and as the sole remaining representatives from the North West Counties League.

The midfielder, sent on for Adam Whitlock, fired low across goalkeeper Martin Pearson on 68 minutes after Taylor Kennerley had picked him out.

The visitors could not respond.

A tight, and at times niggly, encounter had started slowly.

Whitlock prompted Pearson to save inside five minutes, but there was precious little goalmouth action until the home team opened the scoring after half-an-hour.

Ryan Mitchell met Whitlock’s free-kick with a glancing header, steering the ball into the far corner – his first goal since returning to Northwich following a spell with Premier Division rivals City of Liverpool.

Pearson had to be at his best to thwart Whitlock, while at the other end Daniel Regan volleyed wide and Joel Brownhill’s effort flashed past an upright.

1874 continued to create chances after the interval, and midfielder Mark Jones was next to be denied by an inspired Pearson.

From the resulting corner, Ashton’s custodian pushed Jack Pritchard’s volley to safety.

He could do nothing to prevent Parker from claiming a second goal with a right-footed attempt shortly after his introduction.

There was time for Sam Hind’s attempt to be blocked and another replacement, Kyle Riley, added his name to a list of players left frustrated by Pearson’s individual brilliance.

Brownhill’s shot was too close to Northwich goalkeeper Greg Hall at the other end, but they then the outcome had long since been decided.

1874 | Hall (GK), Connor, Lee Jackson, Pritchard, Mitchell, Mark Jones, Whitlock (Parker 66), Matthew Woolley, McGowan (Riley 77), Hind, Kennerley (Woods 86) Subs not used Waite-Jackson, Thomas Goals Mitchell 30, Parker 68 Booked Kennerley, Hind, Riley, Lee Jackson

Ashton | Pearson (GK), Cringle, Johnstone, Wilson (Bailey 73), Cartwright, Webster, Regan, Munro (Watson 73), Brownhill, Smith, Nicholson (Cusani 61) Subs not used Jacob Jones, Harrison Booked Munro

Referee Lee Hible

Attendance 248