MATTY Birchall’s goal in the 65th minute sealed 1874 Northwich’s 1-0 victory over Widnes in a feisty encounter at Townfield.

Widnes shaded the first half and it was only for a number of good saves from ‘74 keeper Ellis Allen that the scores remained level.

There was a bite to the game, with the away side trying to impose their physical size advantage by roughing up the Greens.

In the second half 1874 improved.

Fenton Green thought he had opened the scoring, turning in the rebound from Lucas Weir’s long-range effort but the linesman's flag was raised.

A nice ball behind the back line found Matty Birchall in on goal, he lifted a tidy finish over the onrushing goalkeeper and put ‘74 ahead with his first goal for the club.

Youngster Eric Byrne saw red seconds after his introduction for a lunging tackle on their defender.

74 now had the odds against them trying to defend their lead.

With the back line inspired by perfect performances from veteran Mark Jones and vice-captain Matthew Fenton, ‘74 repelled all that Widnes threw at them and held on for a well earned three points.

1874 travel to Leek Town on Saturday for their next game in Northern Premier League West.