STEVE Wilkes says Northwich Victoria’s 2-1 win at neighbours Winsford United last night was among his best as manager of the club.

A late Darrhyl Mason winner sent Vics to the top of the fledgling North West Counties League Premier Division table following a fourth straight win.

Mason’s goal came just two minutes after Jesse Dowling had equalised for the hosts to cancel out Matty Birchall’s first-half opener.

The win was achieved despite finishing the game with a makeshift back four after defensive regular Kieron Kenny was forced off injured.

“That’s one of the best victories I’ve had as manager of Northwich Victoria in the three years I’ve been here,” Wilkes beamed in his post-match interview.

“We could have been 3-0 up before we scored – the first 40 minutes was the best we have played all season.

“We started on the front foot and if anything were disappointed to come in only 1-0 up.

“We knew they would throw the kitchen sink at us and then we lost Kieron Kenny – I think that’s the fourth centre-half we’ve lost.

“We put Dave Sherlock back there but we were sticking square pegs in round holes.

“They equalise and we were thinking we would take a point, but it was absolutely fantastic character from the lads.

“I was right behind Darrhyl’s goal – a great finish. I’m really, really pleased with the boys.

“We ended up with two central midfielder players in our back four. Matty Clarke’s been fantastic at left-back and Sherls was fantastic at centre-half.

“To come to a team that’s got experience up front, we knew they would go direct to Rob Hopley as he’s an excellent player.

“They’ve scored 10 in one game and four in another, but I don’t think Mike Hale has had to make a save. I’m so, so proud tonight.

“We’d have lost that game 3-1 last season.

“We had the fans roaring us on – they were there at Whitchurch on Saturday and again in numbers tonight. We had to put on a performance like that because they deserve it.”

On leapfrogging their opponents to go top of the table, Wilkes said: “We’re not getting carried away as we’re five games in not 35.

“It’s a nice place to be, but we won’t be getting carried away.”