DELIGHTED Northwich Vics boss Andy Preece paid tribute to five-goal hero Mark Danks who stole the show in Saturday’s 8-0 drubbing of Bardon Hill Sports Club.
The Leicestershire minnows, who had previously described the FA Cup second-qualifying round tie as the biggest in their club’s history, had no answer to an energetic Vics who also had Simon Grand (2) and Wayne Riley on target.
After a quiet start, Danks has been hot on the goal trail in Blue Square North and his five goals marked the first time a player in green and white had achieved the feat in three decades.
Preece said: “It was just a case of getting Mark’s fitness up. He had suffered from swine flu, lost a stone and missed a lot of pre-season. I always knew he would come good. It’s great that we are scoring goals now.”
Vics’ cut-throat performance, played in front of 502 supporters at the Victoria Stadium, has now been rewarded after they were handed another home tie in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.
UniBond First Division North outfit Chorley will visit Wincham on Saturday, October 10 – the winners will pocket £7,500 and earn a place in the hat for the fourth qualifying round.
Since beginning the season on -10 points, Preece has guided Vics from the bottom of the league to mid-table with a promising cup run on the horizon.
The modest former Bury striker told the Chronicle that the turnaround in fortunes has been a joint effort but he also made a renewed plea to stay-away supporters to get behind the team as they bid to challenge for a place in the play-offs.
“It has been a great effort,” he said. “Everyone deserves credit. Jim Rushe (owner) is doing a very difficult job off the field, the players have reacted and not worried about the minus 10 points, the fans are staying behind the team making sure we have a half-decent crowd and we’re all working very hard. It’s a real team effort.
“The big thing for me though is that the supporters who staying away for one reason are another must have run out of excuses by now. Those that said ‘not until they are playing good football’ of ‘not until they are scoring goals’ or ‘not until they are winning games’ must see that things are improving.
“If we can get the fans back then that helps everything because it is instant money and it will help the players as well.”
On Saturday, Vics host struggling Harrogate Town (3pm).