WINSFORD United could not reproduce a performance they had given when they had frightened title-hopefuls Atherton Collieries a fortnight earlier.

Instead Blues were left to contemplate a winless sequence stretching to seven matches, a run which has ruined their chances of a top 10 finish.

They trailed at the end of an even first half on Saturday.

Jordan Cover headed high for the visitors, while at the other end goalkeeper Adam Reid stretched to divert Jordan Johnson’s attempt with his fingertips.

Colls captain Brad Cooke fired wide, then Johnson stumbled as he shaped to shoot with a clear sight of goal.

Lee Duckworth’s side cursed their luck on 38 minutes when Danny Kerr’s header from Dale Jennings’ cross was smuggled off the line by a defender.

The champions-elect took the lead in the seconds before the break, Cover spinning and shooting in the same movement to convert Darrhyl Mason’s cut-back.

Jennings headed high from Scott Taylor’s corner early in the second period, while Will Foster was alert to clear off the line when Colls threatened.

Nathan Cotterell tried his luck from long range without success, while Foster went close with a header.

But Colls were comfortable protecting their lead, one they doubled on 70 minutes when Cooke nodded in a loose ball from close range.

Blues attempt to win a first Premier Division fixture since March 25 when Nelson visit St Luke’s Barton Stadium tonight.

Winsford | Green (GK), Perry, Duckworth, Howell (Hull 75), Foster, Middleton (Clarke 83), Taylor, Kerr, Johnson (Riley 64), Jennings, Cotterell Sub not used Osborne (GK) Booked Middleton, Kerr

Colls | Reid (GK), Kenny, Peet, Messer, Forbes, Lafferty (Grimshaw 75), Hardcastle, Cooke, Cover, Bailey, Mason (Truffas 75) Subs not used Gorman, Sherlock, West Goals Cover 45, Cooke 70 Booked Cover, Mason

Referee Daniel Issawi

Attendance 230