UNLIKE their opponents, 1874 Northwich did their talking on the pitch rather than about it.

They sauntered through, and can look forward to a meeting with Ashton Athletic next month.

A goal either side of the interval allowed them to assume control, and in Scott McGowan they have a player that sets them apart often.

When Lewis Teasdale finished smartly to make it 3-1 with 20 minutes left, Tow Law had raised hopes of a recovery.

They were fleeting, and McGowan jabbed in a loose ball at the other end 60 seconds later after goalkeeper Thomas Orton had diverted Sam Hind’s cross into his path.

There was still time for substitute Kazim Waite-Jackson to swerve a gorgeous free-kick into the top corner late on.

It felt like a stamp of approval for his side’s best collective performance of the campaign.

They had been far superior, and it might have been worse for Tow Law.

Once abundantly clear they were crashing out, they became ragged.

And yet the visitors had chances to score before falling behind.

Teasdale, an energetic and ever-present threat in attack, could not divert Liam Whitworth’s cross on target after stretching fully to meet it.

McGowan fired high at the other end before Dean Thexton missed a sitter.

Sent clear by Teasdale’s flick-on, he rolled a tame finish straight into the hands of 1874 custodian Greg Hall.

The hosts cursed their luck when Taylor Kennerley’s striker deflected off a defender and onto an upright before Danny Meadowcroft’s back-post header prompted Orton to save from the resulting corner.

McGowan ought to have scored when Whitlock’s nudged pass left him face-to-face with Tow Law’s number one, who smothered bravely.

There was a sliver of fortune for Northwich when they took the lead on 37 minutes.

Mark Jones’ clearance had distance if not initial direction, but Kennerley darted onto the loose ball in midfield.

His speed of thought was equally decisive, the pass that followeed a perfect assist to McGowan’s deft lobbed finish.

He slipped in shooting stride when in front of goal shortly afterwards, while Glenn Caygill’s drive acted as a reminder that the Northern League outfit remained in the contest.

1874 moved further clear inside five minutes of the restart though, Whitlock redirecting McGowan’s cross out of Orton’s reach and into the net with the merest of touches.

When Jake Parker arced in a stylish third, the game was up.

Teasdale punished a lapse in concentration five minutes later, only for McGowan to establish again a three-goal lead from close-range.

Waite-Jackson’s set-piece was almost contemptuous, struck so clean and true that Orton could not even attempt to stop it.

It was a fitting analogy for 1874’s performance; too quick, too clever and too good.

Their reward is to play a third-round tie for only the second time in the club’s short history.

1874 | 4-3-3 | Hall (GK), Mitchell, Meadowcroft, Pritchard, Lee Jackson, Jones, Matthew Woolley, Parker (Waite-Jackson 80), Whitlock (Hind 68), McGowan (Riley 76), Kennerley Subs not used Haughton, Woods Goals McGowan 37, 72, Whitlock 50, Parker 65, Waite-Jackson 90 (+3) Booked Whitlock (foul)

Tow Law | 4-4-2 | Orton (GK), Soulsby, Caygill (Pattison 80), Storey, Oldfield, Whitworth, Brown, Smith (Parnaby 62), Teasdale, Thexton Subs not used Fletcher, Harbottle, Blair Goal Teasdale 69 Booked Caygill, Storey, Soulsby, Brown (all fouls)

Referee Dale Baines

Attendance 229