ON a perfect day Winsford might have trebled their score against the NWCFL's whipping boys.
At the Barton Stadium on Saturday double figures would have been a reasonable haul but United, so dominant in midfield where Stuart Wellstead was the star, were hesitant in front of goal and the chances to improve their goal difference were largely spurned.
They made their intentions clear virtually from the kick-off when a fine flowing move ended with a Rob Hopley header too easily collected by goal-keeper Mark Canning.
Two minutes later Chris Melia jinked his way into the penalty area only to be brought crashing to the ground but to the amazement of just about everyone the referee waved play on.
But a goal came in the 5th minute. A long throw by Chris Hutchinson was headed on by Hopley into the path of Rick Arnold who calmly stroked it into the right corner of the net.
Hutchinson, returning to his old form, was unlucky to see his 12th minute shot cannon against the post.
Home keeper Matt Conkie could not have had a quieter return to the Winsford team but he had to be alert when Andrew Entwhistle's shot was only kept out by a fingertip save.
Melia looked to have missed his chance on 25 minutes when he dwelt on Arnold's cross but he recovered to steer a low shot into the corner of the goal.
As the first period was closing Hopley burst through the defence and unselfishly squared the ball to Hutchinson who had an easy task of guiding it into the empty net.
Although the Blues dominated possession in the second half they found it difficult to convert it into chances with Hutchinson and Arnold being the main culprits. However, Arnold made up for a couple of earlier misses when he collected the ball from Melia on 80 minutes and coolly slotted it home under the body of the advancing Canning. Conkie was in action again on 85 minutes when he did well to turn Tom McKenna's shot round the post, but the resulting corner saw Lee Spratt rise to head home.
The closing minutes were all Winsford and Melia should have given a much-needed boost to their goal difference but he hit the bar from Iain Stanton's 89th minute corner.
UNITED: Conkie; Robinson, Chambers, Marsh, Stanton; Melia, Hutchinson, Hughes, Wellstead; Hopley, Arnold. Attendance: 101 Star Man: Stuart Wellstead, creative force Next Best: Rick Arnold Team Rating: 2 Match Rating: 2