Vics' finished off this season's campaign in style by defeating Tranmere Rovers in the Cheshire F.A Senior Cup Final by two goals to one at the Weaver Stadium - the home of Nantwich Town F.C.
The score was goalless at half-time but another wonder-strike by Abou Sanogo shortly after the resumption handed Vics' the lead and a second goal by Brian Summerskill doubled the advantage.
Rovers' replied with an Evan Gumbs goal with four minutes left but Vics held on comfortably to win the trophy for a nineteenth time, and close to within one more win of the competition record that is held by Macclesfield Town (twenty wins).
NORTHWICH VICTORIA 2-1 TRANMERE ROVERS
Tuesday 29th April - The Weaver Stadium, Nantwich. Cheshire F.A Senior Cup Final
Attendance - 352
Deasy (C), Smalley, Clarke, Meadowcroft (Henry 67'), Schofield, Sanogo, Summerskill, Hadfield, Harries, Amis, Burnett. Sub unused - Phoenix.
TRANMERE ROVERS -
Pilling, Maher, Kubwalo, Shackleton, Gumbs, Smith, Duggan, Jago, Lamb, Ilesanmi, Riley. Subs all used - Omotola, Rutter, Williams, Hunter, Cringle.
Unavailable for Vics' - Wisdom (groin) - Greenwood, Joseph, Stott (all cup-tied).
Goals - VICS' - Sanogo 54', Summerskill 74'. Tranmere Rovers - Gumbs 86'.
Vics' started the final on the front foot - dominating possession in the opening stages with Joshua Amis having the first attempt at goal in the 7th minute; shooting well over the crossbar from just inside the box after a fine lay-off from strike partner Gary Burnett. Rovers worked hard with and without the ball, but were unable to really penetrate a firm Vics' defence inside the opening 30 minutes. Brian Summerskill was the next to try and break the deadlock in the 29th minute - fizzing a drive just wide of Rovers' keeper' Pilling's near-post from 18 yards after the industrious Jordan Hadfield had sent him clear on the right-hand side. The speedy Leo Riley had Rovers' first attempt on goal soon after in the 31st minute; he skipped past Ryan Schofield down Vics' left-hand side and drilled a right-foot effort wide of Vics' keeper' Deasy's far post. On the next play, newly-crowned Vics' supporters' player of the season Gary Burnett spurned a great opportunity to open the scoring; Rovers' defender Connor Shackleton headed back to his own 'keeper and sold him short - Burnett seized on the loose bouncing ball 20 yards out but could only lift his shot wide of the on-rushing custodian. Scott Harries embarked on a trademark run with half-time looming - he glided past three Rovers' defenders and let fly with a searing shot that keeper' Pilling did well to tip over the bar at full stretch. Half-time arrived with the score goalless.
Vics' began the second half in much the same vein as the first; and took the lead in the 54th minute through Abou Sanogo. Brian Summerskill was fed the ball by Jordan Hadfield in centre-field who had broken up yet another Rovers' attack; and he carried the ball twenty yards in a lung-busting run and sent over a cross to the edge of the box at searing pace which picked out the on-rushing Abou Sanogo and he rifled in the ball right-footed into the left-hand corner of Pilling's net. It was an outstanding goal, to top off a breathless passage of play from Vics'. Danny Meadowcroft was forced off in the 67th minute, landing awkwardly attempting to head away a cross into Vics' box and was replaced by Callum Henry at the heart of the defence. Vics' were now spraying the ball about with abandon and confidence and the decisive second goal was not long in coming - the marauding Jordan Hadfield robbed Liam Smith on half-way and sent a peach of a pass into Gary Burnett's feet and he was crowded out by a posse of Rover's defenders but managed to smuggle the ball through to the lurking Brian Summerskill who then entered the box and took a touch before sending a rocket-like daisy-cutter of a shot across keeper' Pillling and into the far corner of the net. Rovers' were not done though, in the 86th minute a corner was sent over wickedly into Vics' box and Mike Clarke could only clear the ball to Evan Gumbs 8 yards out and he blasted a low shot past Deasy in the Vics' goal. Vics' were unflustered though; as the game entered into the additional four minutes signalled by the fourth official, Callum Henry rattled the crossbar from the edge of the 6 yard box with a towering header after Brian Summerskills corner had picked him out beautifully. The rest of the time added on was seen out comfortably by Vics' to clinch a third Cheshire F.A Senior Cup success in five years.
Vics' M.O.M - Jordan Hadfield - Broke up Rovers' attacks at will, did all the dirty work and led the team right across the park. Had a hand in both goals too, including starting the move for the outstanding and all-important second goal.
Pictured - Brian Summerskill emphatically powers Vics' into a decisive two-nil lead.
Pictured below - Game-star Jordan Hadfield and Vics' players' player of the season Tim Deasy in party mood during the post-match celebrations.
Pictured with the Cheshire F.A Senior Cup L-R back row - Club captain Danny Wisdom, Ryan Schofield, Mike Clarke, Jordan Hadfield, Tim Deasy, Dan Meadowcroft, Abou Sanogo and Callum Henry.
Front row - Brian Summerskill, Joshua Amis and Gary Burnett.
Match report by Jamie Dewsbury.