Northwich Vis 1 Altrincham 2
VICS had two men sent off as they suffered a reverse of their Boxing Day triump against fellow relegation fighters Altrincham.
Josh Wilson and Ryan Brown were players seven and eight to receive red cards this season.
Their late tackle offences against Robbie Lawton and Loe O’Neill respectively came in 53 and 90 minutes and left Vics with no hope of retrieving a point from the derby.
To make matters worse Jake Speight, only just returned from a long injury lay off, left the pitch on a stretcher and Vics were down to nine men and eight at the finish.
Vics were in front in 48 minutes when Mike Welch headed home Lucas Akins’ cross, but Wilson’s departure gave Alty heart and they levelled within four minute of the home side being reduced to 10 men.
Ryan Shotton was the scorer stabbing home a Chris Lane free kick.
But the Robins, tails up nor not, could not find away another way through the Vics defence until the 88th minute when O’Neill netted from close range. Or rather, at least the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line before Natt Kerr’s clearance.
Scott Tyan prevented Liam King putting Altrincham ahead midway through the first half and Stuart Coburn was a hero at the other end, Lee Steele the victim.
In 12 minutes after the break came Welch’s well timed header to put Northwich ahead, Wilson’s lunge and dismissal and Shotton’s leveller.
All of which turned up the heat and excitement, soon dulled when Speight - Steele’s replacement - hurt his knee and left Vics desperately short up front and numerically.
With all three subs used when Brown paid the price of his recklessness Northwich were left with just eight men afield.
With fifth from bottom Farsley losing it is Altrincham who now have the best chance of catching them, being two points behind. Vics are a further five adrift.
VICS: Tynan; Rusk, Kerr, Welch, Brown; Williams (Byrne 59), Carr, Wilson, Morning; Akins (Battersby 56), Steele (Speight 39).