GIVEN the circumstances, a point away to the runaway league leaders would have delighted Rylands.

With eight players missing and a matchday squad of only 13 players, they came agonisingly close to coming away with just that.

James Ormrod’s 89th-minute winner allowed 1874 Northwich to continue apace atop the North West Counties League Premier Division, denying Blues a notable result.

Had it stayed level at 1-1 – a scoreline brought about when Kane Drummond cancelled out Lee Knight’s opener on the stroke of half time – there may not have been many complaints.

“I thought we had done enough for a point,” Blues boss Dave McNabb said.

“We came into the game with eight players missing and with players playing with knocks.

“We were struggling a little bit so we set up to frustrate Northwich a little bit more because of the personnel we had available.

“Northwich are probably the best side in the league, had a lot of possession and created a few chances particularly in the first half.

“In the second half, though, I don’t think they really hurt us until the goal.

“We’ve created a couple of really good chances that we could and should have scored from.”

The chances McNabb references were indeed presentable, particularly Sam O’Halleron blazing high over the bar in injury time when through on goal with the opportunity to equalise again.

Before that, Ste Wolhulter had seen an excellent effort rattle the crossbar.

That was the closest either side came to a goal in the second half as 1874 struggled to break down their stubborn visitors until Ormrod popped up to head home a corner.

Before the break, the hosts had more of a cutting edge and created much more, eventually leading to Knight’s opener – the home winger lashed home after his initial effort was blocked.

Still, Rylands stuck with it and came up with the ideal riposte just before the break.

Andy Scarisbrick carried dangerously through midfield and his through ball was perfect for Drummond to beat the offside trap and finish emphatically.