Peter Tonge’s verdict on Northwich Victoria’s 4-1 League Cup loss at Congleton Town last night…

VICS returned to their bad habits giving away 2 goals after deservedly leading at half time

It was a lively start to the match, with Congleton having the first chance after just two minutes as Hampton put the ball wide of the post from close range.

A minute later, Vics really should have taken an early lead as Unwin beat the offside trap and was one-on-one with Parton in the Town net, but the keeper won the battle as he tipped the ball around for a corner.

Five minutes later, another great chance for Vics as Caelan Kilheeney found Marcus Perry, who beat his man before driving in a shot just wide.

Vics did take the lead in the 24th minute as a well worked corner routine led to a shot which Parton could only parry out for Matty Clarke to slam the ball home.

Vics then had three chances to extend their lead, with the best falling to Unwin as he dragged a shot wide after 28 minutes, but Congleton were slowly beginning to get back in the match and having more of the ball and they really should have scored in the 42nd minute as Sankey burst into the box, rounded the keeper but somehow managed to hit the post with the goal at his mercy.

A real let-off for the Vics and they nearly made Town pay for it just before half time as Perry beat his man and laid the ball back to Anton Smith, whose cross found Unwin at the far post but he could only angle his header back across goal where no one was waiting. 

Congleton were back on level terms quickly after the break when in the 54th minute, Reid and the defence dithered which allowed Hampton to get to the ball first and slide the ball into an empty net. 

Town started to pile on the pressure now – Hampton went close again after a good ball in from Tom Allen whilst George Sankey's shot after a powerful run was deflected wide.

The pressure finally told in the 74th minute but it was another gifted goal by Vics as they tried to play their way out of defence and Krakue got caught on the ball by Williams, who calmly finished past Reid.

Town then killed the match off in the 82nd minute as a nice flick found Dan Needham, who passed the ball into the bottom corner.

To round things off for Town, they scored a fourth in the final minutes as Needham was given space on the edge of the area and curled a lovely shot into the net, giving Reid no chance.

Northwich Victoria: Reid, Camozzi, Cookson, Battersby (Kraku), Roberts, Clarke (Grindrod), Smith, Kilheeney (De Frutos Griman), Switters (Parker), Unwin, Perry (Bamba)