NORTHWICH Victoria ensured they would go into lockdown on a high.

They beat Runcorn Town 2-0 at Wincham Park on Wednesday night to ensure they progressed to the next round of the Cheshire Senior Cup.

Here's how the match unfolded courtesy of Peter Tonge...

Vics eased through to the second round of the Cheshire Senior Cup with a solid and convincing display against Runcorn Town.

An even start to the match with both teams trying to get a hold of the game, with firstly Saul Henderson having a low shot saved comfortably by Town's Adam Reid then Craig Cairns testing debutant Morgan Newns in the Vics' net with a shot from the edge of the box.

Town then went closer still in the 13th minute as a through ball reached dangerman Cairns, who managed to round Newns but his shot from a tight angle hit the outside of the post.

Two minutes later, it was Vics' turn to rattle the woodwork as Darrhyl Mason did well to hold off a challenge before unleashing a shot against the bar.

Chad Whyte was quickest to respond and poked the rebound into the back of the net but he was given offside.

However, Vics did take the lead in the 21st minute as a Dave Sherlock corner was missed by the keeper and Saul Brew-Butler was on hand to bundle the ball across the line from point-blank range.

The goal settled Vics down and they controlled the middle of the park, not allowing Town to create anything.

Forty minutes in and Vics earned a free-lick right on the edge of the area after a great run by Mason was crudely ended by defender Liam Turner. Whyte stepped up and forced Reid into a good save low down to his right.

Town nearly got an equaliser out of nothing just before half time when a long throw was back-headed by a Vics defender straight to Cairns, whose header was brilliantly turned round the post by Newns.

The second half started with Runcorn having all of the ball and pushing Vics back, but the hosts were defending well and limiting them to long-range efforts rather than any clear-cut chances.

Newns did well to tip one effort from Holsgrove over the bar in the 58th minute and then comfortably saved another Holsgrove effort from a free-kick.

Vics were always dangerous as they looked for quick breaks and they doubled their lead in the 76th minute when substitute Matty Birchall seized on a poor pass by Town and ran in on Reid, rounded him and slotted the ball past the despairing Town defenders.

Vics looked impressive at the back and apart from a Marcus James header from a corner which went just wide, they dealt comfortably with the Runcorn attacks and easily held on to progress through to the next round.

Before that on Saturday, they were held to a 2-2 draw at home by bottom side Litherland REMYCA in the North West Counties League Premier Division.

Peter Tonge gives his verdict on that game below...

A match in which Vics will feel its two points dropped rather than one won.

They started well and the majority of the play. The first real chance came from a corner well won by Darrhyl Mason in the 14th minute when big defender Rudy Misambo met it with a downward header which Litherland keeper Joshua O'Connell managed to scramble away.

In the 18th minute, a good build-up down the right led to the ball being played across and falling to Mason on the edge of the area, but his hurried shot was well wide.

Vics took the lead in the 21st minute when a ball in from the left by the returning Leo Roberts was dropped by O'Connell and Saul Henderson back-heeled the ball across the box to Louis Potts, whose shot was blocked but the rebound was struck home by Ashley Dunn.

Most of the rest of the half was spent with Vics pressing without really testing the keeper and in the 44th minute, they were given a warning that one goal wouldn't be enough when a poor touch gave the ball to Alex Ryan.

He burst forward and fired a low shot in which Vics keeper Mike Hale had to save with his legs.

Early in the second half, Roberts teamed up well with Mason down the left and put in a deep cross which Henderson met at the far post, but the ball glanced just wide of the post.

Litherland were more in the game now, and got back in the game in spectacular fashion in the 58th minute when a free-kick was headed out of the area and fell to Paul Speed, who superbly volleyed the ball into the top right corner of the net giving Hale no chance.

Vics nearly reclaimed the lead in the 64th minute when Joe Camozzi's floated free-kick led to a scramble in the box, but no Vics player could get a decisive touch to force the ball home and O'Connell ended up blocking a Matty Birchall effort for a corner.

In the 66th minute, however, Mason escaped down the left and put in a fine cross for Henderson to stretch a leg out and turn the ball into the net from close range.

The lead was short-lived as a low cross from the right deflected off a Vics boot, completely deceiving the defence and leaving Elliot Toner the easiest of jobs to tap the ball home.

The match then petered out, with Vics unable to create any worthwhile chances and Litherland content to slow the game down and earn a deserved draw.