FC St Helens 0-3 Middlewich Town

MIDDLEWICH Town reached the Cheshire League's summit following Saturday's victory - a fourth in the past five Premier Division matches.

And co-manager Michael Welch has warned the Witches' rivals there remains room for improvement.

"We've still not reached the levels I know we're capable of," he said.

"But we're moving in the right direction and it was a decent performance."

A home date with second-placed Poynton next weekend will provide an examination of their progress.

Town had already served warning to their hosts by the time Scott Twite's back-post header from Harry Short's cross put them in front against FC St Helens.

Chris Brinksman, the home team's goalkeeper, saved smartly to thwart Dan Lomas before producing his best to divert Twite's header around an upright.

Middlewich moved further ahead midway through the first-half when Short, after he had been tripped, curled a free-kick into the top-corner.

They survived a scare when an attempt from distance struck the crossbar and had to withstand pressure from their hosts, promoted along with them from League One at the end of last season, after the interval.

However Lomas again prompted Brinksman to stretch fully to save before Jamie Petrie applied the finishing touch to a counter-attack during the closing stages when he met Callum Priestley's cross with a header.

Meanwhile Matthew Cann was on target for 10-man Town reserves when their eight-match winning run in all competitions ended after a 3-1 defeat at home to Vulcan, who avenged a loss in the reverse fixture.