WITTON Albion end 2023 just two points adrift of their points total at the same stage last year thanks to Boxing Day’s 2-1 win at 1874 Northwich.

They went on a run at the start of 2023 that gave them a fighting chance for reaching the play-offs, although they faded late on.

Manager Jon Macken said he would have liked to have been in a better position than the 15th place they currently occupy, eight points outside of the top five.

“You’re never happy when you’re losing games or conceding goals like we have done. You’re always looking to change and better that,” he said.

“I would have liked to have been further up the table and anybody would say that because you would.

“We’re always looking to try and improve performances, improve the team, the club and the league position.

“But we find ourselves where we are, so we’ve just got to work hard and turn defeats into draws, and draws into wins.

“I think we’re coming together as a group, we’re all gelling. After we scored against 1874, every player was together and celebrating with each other and it means a lot.

“And I think it’s a weird season from the Premier League down where any team is beating anyone.

“But we don’t want to be part of that. We want to be that team that’s beating everybody.

“I’d always want a little bit more, I’d always be happier if we were a little bit higher and if our performances were a bit more up there.

“We just keep working hard and just keep trying to get those things right.”

So Macken will be looking for his men to kick-start 2024 at home against Runcorn Linnets on New Year’s Day, kick-off 3pm, in the way they ended 2023 against their ‘derby’ rivals on Tuesday, which was an improvement on Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Vauxhall Motors.

“I was really pleased to get the win. I thought it was a good win, I thought we played well,” he said.

“1874 went down to 10 men and it kind of galvanised them a little and they really put us under quite a bit of pressure.

“I was pleased with our reaction to them equalising.

“We’d kind of stopped doing what we were doing in the first half, which was doing the basics very well because we were winning all the seconds and thirds, we were on the front foot and really pressing.

“But you have to give 1874 a little bit of credit because they really put pressure on us and tried to get themselves back in the game which they did.

“We had to regroup and keep going. I wasn’t massively trying to change things because I believed in the shape and the lads that were out there.

“We had been disappointed on Saturday with the result although the performance was ok, but I think on Tuesday we got a performance and the result.”

Meanwhile, Northwich Victoria are in a run of seven successive away games in the Midland League Premier Division.

Their third game of that sequence is a visit to Highgate United on Saturday, kick-off 2pm.

Vics do not play on New Year’s Day, and their next home clash is against Wolverhampton Casuals at Barton Stadium, Winsford, on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

In the North West Counties Football League, Winsford United have two home matches in the coming week.

They host Cheadle Heath Nomads on Saturday, kick-off 2pm, and then New Mills on Tuesday, kick-off 7.45pm.

Barnton entertain Alsager Town at Townfield on Saturday, kick-off 3pm.