Northwich Manchester Villa 0-3 Cheadle Town

Just the win we needed to keep our play-off hopes alive. For the first twenty minutes or so of this match it looked as though this could turn out to be a tricky evening against an energetic, enthusiastic and determined 'Villa outfit as chances for both sides were at a premium and both were struggling to keep the ball.

As the sky darkened and the air temperature cooled considerably, the game thankfully started to warm up as we racked up a host of chances.

On 26 minutes Anthony Trucca thundered a header just wide of the post from a corner before Thabiso Magida latched onto a driven ball across the face of goal from Rick Whyatt only to see his goalbound flick saved.

Just after the half-hour mark we almost witnessed one of the contenders for goal of the season as Liam Tongue ran three quarters of the length of the field only for him to plant his shot inches wide of the post.

Mike Sherrington then ballooned an effort over the bar following good work and a cut back from Magida before we finally made our pressure pay with three minutes of the half remaining: on the left of the penalty box, Liam Tongue cut inside and drilled home, beating the keeper at the near post.

It should have been two just before half time but Mike Sherrington just couldn't shape his body in time for Magida's whipped cross from the left, resulting in him heading over from very close range.

We continued where we left off after the break.

Magida was through on goal on 47 minutes but saw his effort saved, only for the loose ball to be eventually blasted over the bar by Rick Whyatt.

Five minutes later Liam Tongue tried his luck from range and was just over, Mike Sherrington rolled the ball home but was given offside and then Magida really should have made it two when put clean through on goal, but opting to check back and then harmlessly roll his effort wide.

He would get his redemption on 65 minutes, though. Good work by Mike Sherrington down the right saw him square the ball right to Magida's feet where he had the easy task of tapping home from close range.

Five minutes later and Mike Sherrington would get himself on the scoresheet, and put the game to bed, by finishing neatly from inside the area following a cut-back from the byline.

There were further opportunities to extend the lead even further. Ashley Smallwood went on a lung-busting run on 73 minutes and looked sure to finish off a fine effort when he poked the ball past the keeper but was denied by a great clearance by a 'Villa defender.

Substitute Josh Stevenson was also denied by a great save three minutes later as he connected to a cross from the left.

Absolutely nothing we can do now until a week on Saturday for our penultimate game at Daisy Hill. With ten days of other teams around us playing you fear the worst, but hope for the best.

Sit tight. It might get nervy....

TEAM: Piggott, Smallwood, Pearson, Trucca (Nsimbe), Moores, Dunn, Hincks (Horan), Tongue (Stevenson), M Sherrington, Whyatt, Magida. SUBS: McLaughlin, Stevenson, Nsimbe, Horan.