STEVE Wilkes admitted his strikers made the difference after Northwich Victoria extended a winning run by beating Barnoldswick on Saturday.

Jay Hart and Brian Matthews, with his 16th goal of the campaign, were again on target during a 3-1 win.

“Had either of those two been playing for the opposition then we’d have lost,” said the Vics boss afterwards.

“We were fortunate, but sometimes you have to find a way to win ugly when you’re not at your best and that’s what we did.”

Vics have collected 16 points in eight games since Wilkes was appointed as Paul Moore’s successor, a tally that has taken them into the North West Counties League Premier Division table’s top 10.

Hart and Matthews have both found the net in every game together since the former’s arrival from Padiham.

However Wilkes said even that duo might have found it difficult to rescue the hosts had Barlick taken the chances they created at the weekend.

He added: “Barnoldswick were much the better side in the first-half and we could have been 2-0 down before Oscar [Durnin] put us in front.”

Vics return to action on Saturday when they travel to second-placed Runcorn Linnets, kick-off 3pm.