1874 NORTHWICH secured their first win at Step Four with Joe Woolley’s first-half header enough to see off Market Drayton at Greenfields.

An energetic and fast-paced start from 74’ caught the hosts cold early on.

Three early chances all tested the Market Drayton defence. Jake Parker had the best one – his effort stung the legs of Joe Care and the rebound dropped wide.

The opening goal came on the 15-minute mark – a pinpoint cross from the right side of the box from the influential Parker found Woolley lurking to power a header into the bottom corner, giving Ash Rawlings in the Market Drayton goal no chance.

The ‘74 pressure was relentless now and chances were piling up – Scott McGowan forced a great save low down from Rawlings and moments later, Jack Irlam broke the offside trap but couldn’t get his finish right as he blazed a shot over the bar with just the keeper to beat.

The second half continued as the first ended, with ‘74 dominating the ball and creating chance after chance.

Irlam guided a header at the back post wide when it looked certain the midfielder would score.

Down the other end, Mark Jones was putting in a brilliant performance – he read a ball perfectly to intercept, driving up the pitch he played a ball down the right for Ryan Jackson.

The winger flicked the ball round the corner to McGowan, whose chipped effort beat the keeper but Care was on hand to rescue his side by heading off the line.

The game now was becoming stretched, with the hosts sensing a result was still in reach but this left more space for ‘74.

Parker and Jackson both had big opportunities that couldn’t be taken to put the game to bed.

Keeper Tony Aghayere – a spectator for majority of the game – had to stay alert to tip away a low strike from Dimitri Dunkley and keep the lead intact.

As the hosts pushed for an equaliser the game became frantic. Jones blocked an effort from a corner as substitute Kyle Montague stabbed an effort towards goal.

Parker thought he had the chance to put the contest to bed, he beat his man but found Rawlings in his way to make a smart stop.

The final whistle was sounded after five minutes of injury time, which brought a huge sigh of relief from players and fans alike – a deserved first victory at Step Four.

Market Drayton (4-3-3): Ash Rawlings (GK), Liam Riley-Stewart, Matt Jones, George Lewis (Conor Hughes 86’), Joe Care, George Taylor, Dimitri Dunkley (Brendon Price 73’), Jakob Burroghs, Harry Morris (Kyle Montague 63’), Connor Russo, Jordan Davies. Subs not used: Reece Taylor, Sean Jones

1874 Northwich (4-3-3): Tony Aghayere (GK), Mike Koral, Matt Russell, Jack Marrow, Mark Jones, Jake Parker, James Ormrod, Joe Woolley (Ryan Jackson 67’), Callum Gardner (Lee Knight 67’), Jack Irlam (Sam Hare 79’), Scott McGowan. Subs not used: Ash Woods, Lee Jackson