TURNS out 1874 Northwich had not forgotten about Boxing Day.
Embarrassed by their landlords at Christmas following a 4-0 defeat, they returned the favour to wrestle back local bragging rights.
The result was never going to alter either side’s position in the table, but the sight of under 21s graduate Adam Whitlock scoring twice during his latest cameo as a substitute will have cheered those supporters clad in green.
Their favourites had already edged ahead before his introduction when Sam Hind doubled his own personal tally on the hour, restoring a lead he had established in the opening minute.
In between, Blues matched their tenants.
However they did not convert the chances they created, and ended up on the wrong end of a punishing score-line.
Hind tapped in Tom Bailey’s cross to make it 1-0, and the latter ought to have followed suit when he crashed a shot against the crossbar moments later.
At the other end, Scott Taylor’s diving header rattled the woodwork too.
1874 goalkeeper Greg Hall scrambled low to divert Lee Duckworth’s free kick, then repeated the trick to deny Kyle Riley.
Winsford equalised when Nathan Cotterell spun and shot in the same movement after collecting Jordan Johnson’s cross from the right.
They almost edged ahead when Hall tipped Riley’s half-volley onto the frame, while Taylor was unlucky when a glancing header was smuggled off the goal-line.
And hosts were left to regret not taking the lead when Hind headed Paul Connor’s cross high into the net on 59 minutes.
Ryan Steele tried his luck from distance, but 1874 added to their advantage when Whitlock advanced unchallenged into the penalty area before sliding a neat finish past custodian Matthew Green.
Blues’ number one was at his best to divert Sam Hare’s shot with his fingertips, but he was beaten a fourth time with time running out when Whitlock was again left unattended.
Blues | Green (GK), Middleton (Perry 85), Duckworth, Rothwell, Foster, Howell, Taylor, Steele (Collins 80), Riley, Johnson, Cotterell (Hatton 75) Sub not used Bircumshaw Goal Cotterell 32 Booked Steele
1874 | Hall (GK), Connor, Russell, Mitchell, Farnworth, Hare (Clayton 80), Joe Woolley (Whitlock 67), Matthew Woolley, Bailey, McGowan, Hind Subs not used Bove, Tulloch Goals Hind 1, 59 Whitlock 74, 86
Referee Daniel Bruce