NORTHWICH Victoria’s long wait for a return to action ended in woeful fashion in midweek.

Steve Pickup’s side, without a match for a month following five successive postponements, were defeated 4-1 at home by fellow Midland League Premier Division strugglers Stone Old Alleynians.

Their worst home defeat of the season still sees them placed third from bottom ahead of Saturday’s home clash with sixth-placed Atherstone Town and then Tuesday’s trip to fourth-from-bottom Wolverhampton Casuals, 7.45pm.

It is a result which leaves them with only two draws to show for their efforts in their last eight league games.

Vics were a touch fortunate to be only 2-0 behind within 11 minutes at Barton Stadium on Tuesday night as they were caught cold and then Stone finished them off with two strikes in seven minutes in the final quarter, before Sam Lynch netted a consolation effort for the hosts.

The game had barely started when Vics keeper Adam Reid was forced into a save from Sam Wilson and when the ball rebounded straight to Jack Bowater he put the ball into the net. However the flag for offside was raised and the goal ruled out somewhat harshly.

Stone did not have to wait long for the opener as two minutes later a corner was played short, then crossed into the box where Luke Askey headed home.

It got worse for Vics in the 11th minute as a free kick was cleared only to Jack Tomlinson on the edge of the area who curled a shot into the net.

It wasn't until the 26th minute that they had their first shot in anger as Callum Parker did well down the right, cut in and fired a shot well over the bar.

Vics came out strongly as the second half started with Max Chimenes sent clean through on goal but Raajan Gill in the Stone net did well to deny him.

Northwich were having more of the ball than in the first half but unable to do much with it as Stone comfortably coped with their attacks.

Vics were undone again in the 72nd minute as Reid came for a corner but failed to get it and Wilson couldn't miss!

A few minutes later Wilson was one on one with keeper Reid who brought him down. Tomlinson calmly sent Reid the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Vics’ consolation goal came when a lovely ball found Lynch free on the left side of the box and he cooly slotted the ball past Gill.

In Saturday’s other fixtures, 1874 Northwich host Leek Town and Winsford United head to Eccleshall.