Robins Still Searching for First Away Win
Report by David Robinson.
Northwich avenged their defeat in last season's league cup final with a convincing win to retain the only unbeaten record in the Evostik Premier Division.
A blustery day made conditions difficult and it was the home side who went closest when a corner from the left was scrambled off the line with just 2 minutes on the clock. 10 minutes later a cross from the right fell to former Ashton centre half Ian Kearney who produced a tumbling save from Terry Smith.
Shortly afterwards a ball into the box from Ged Murphy allowed Aaron Burns to turn and fire an effort over the Vics bar.
The visitors continued to press and Ian Bennett played Danny Lambert in on the left hand side of the area only for him to pull his effort narrowly wide of goal.
10 minutes before the break a great chance fell to home forward Ennis but his effort was blocked by Melling and at the other end a cross by Burns put Madeley in but his effort was smothered by keeper Hinchliffe.
After the interval the home side broke the deadlock as a penalty was awarded for handball on the ground by Melling and was confidently tucked away by Armstrong.
Ashton immediately brought on Amadi to replace Madeley and it was he who set up the equaliser as a cross from the right was laid back for Lambert to strike from the edge of the area.
The match was in the balance at this point but the home team regained the initiative as Sumner's cross was glanced in by the unmarked Clarke and then a great cross from the right was headed home by the diving figure of Kearney - how often do ex-players score against their old teams?
A long throw-in saw Clarke head narrowly wide as the Vics continued their aerial domination and at the other end substitute Wright saw his header tipped over from Bennett's corner.
A breakaway then saw Smith produce a great save from Evans before the rebound was cleared off the line by Murphy as the home side threatened to extend their advantage.