A STIFF test was expected for 1874 Northwich at Leek Town and that is exactly what they got.

The Greens were defeated 4-1, unable to recover after conceding three goals in 14 minutes in the first half against a side who have now won eight of their last 10 matches.

But there was no sign of that punishing rally from the hosts early doors at Harrison Park as 1874 made a bright start, which made what followed to be doubly disappointing.

Jamal Crawford and Matt Woolley had early efforts blocked as 1874 looked to be on top and controlling possession in the Northern Premier League West affair.

But that all came crashing down from the 13th minute.

Julius Ndene headed home Leek’s opener and then Jack Marrow came to the rescue after Greens keeper Ellis Allen was lobbed and a second goal looked certain but the 1874 defender got back to clear the ball off the line.

A minute later Allen pulled off a superb save from a long-range thunderbolt and it was clear the tide had turned.

Thomas Carr made it 2-0 for Leek in the 24th minute and then Daniel Trickett-Smith’s effort went under Allen’s hands as things got quickly worse for 1874.

The closest the visitors got to scoring in the first half was when Fenton Green’s header was saved well in the 32nd minute.

Trickett-Smith wrapped up the scoring for Leek in the 62nd minute and Green managed an 80th-minute consolation for 1874.

There was a better afternoon for Barnton, who defeated high flying Market Drayton Town 2-0 at home in North West Counties League Division One South.

Joe Levey hit home a 25th-minute penalty and Harry Hatton concluded the scoring in the 80th minute.

Market Drayton were reduced to 10 men as a result of the incident that brought about Levey’s penalty success.

The Villagers climbed to ninth, four points behind fifth-placed Market Drayton with two games in hand.

Meanwhile, Winsford United remain second from bottom after a 2-1 home loss to Stockport Georgians.

Harry Lynn put the visitors in front after 12 minutes.

His goal was wiped out by a response from Jeanny Leblanc-Akpo after 31 minutes but the outcome was settled by Daniel Birch netting in the 40th minute.