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Third win in a row lifts Worcester City out of bottom three
10:32pm Tuesday 21st January 2014 in Sport
WORCESTER City continued their surge towards Skrill North survival as they triumphed 2-1 at Altrincham to make it three wins in a row.
Aaron Brown's header 11 minutes into the second-half followed by Daniel Nti's stunning 25-yard strike in the 79th minute earned the Blue and Whites a deserved victory in atrocious conditions.
Robins substitute James Lawrie's free-kick threw the hosts a lifeline 60 seconds after Nti's fourth goal in three games but the visitors held out for another three precious points.
It was a dogged performance from Carl Heeley's side and the win lifted them out of the relegation zone after Oxford City lost 3-2 at home to leaders North Ferriby United.
Graham Hutchison made his first start since the FA Trophy match at Aldershot, replacing Richard Munday, while top scorer Ethan Moore came in for Kristian Ramsey-Dickson.
The first-half was an error-strewn affair with both sides struggling to control the ball amid rain and a swirling wind.
It made passing tricky and there were plenty of wayward touches, particularly from the hosts, who were booed off at the end of the match.
After the teams sized each other up, Altrincham, with former Worcester midfielder Simon Richman in their line-up, had the first chance with Joe Mwasile firing into the side-netting.
Worcester, though, more than matched their opponents and, following a good move, Nti forced keeper Stuart Coburn to save low down.
The visitors continued to make the most of the testing conditions and enjoyed the better of few chances.
Skipper Ellis Deeney crashed a shot against the bar after Brown and Moore combined to play him in.
Conditions continued to deteriorate after the break and the game opened up.
Nti glanced a header wide from George Williams' cross and Moore sent a volley on the turn wide, while Robins skipper Shaun Densmore fired wide of Jose Veiga's post.
But Worcester's goal in the 56th minute was no less than they deserved.
Nti turned provider to whip in a cross from the right and Brown rose above his marker to plant a header beyond Coburn.
That seemed to stun Altrincham into life and Adam Griffin dragged an effort wide moments later.
Lee Sinnott also brought on Jake Moult, Scott Leather and Lawrie in a bid to inject some urgency and creativity into his side.
But City weathered the storm and began to push for a second on the break. It arrived with 11 minutes to go and was a spectacular effort from Nti.
With options around him, the striker instead took aim from 25 yards and dispatched a looping drive over Coburn, beating the Robins keeper all ends up.
But no sooner had they secured a two-goal cushion than the hosts halved the deficit with sub Lawrie smashing a long-range free-kick past Veiga via the inside of the post.
Worcester were forced to defend in the closing stages and introduced Richard Taundry to strengthen the midfield.
Munday also appeared for the final few minutes after Hutchison pulled up with what looked like cramp.
Nti was denied by Coburn as Worcester sought a third goal in the first of five added minutes.
Damian Reeves forced Veiga into a save but the visitors held on for a deserved success.
City: Veiga 8, G Williams 8, Weir 8, Grimes 8, Hutchison 8 (Munday 84), Brown 8, Nti 9*, Deeney 8, Moore 7 (Ramsey-Dickson 77), Nelson-Addy 7, A Williams 7 (Taundry 83). Subs not used: Leslie, D Williams.
Meanwhile, Kidderminster Harriers lost 2-1 at home to Dartford in the Skrill Premier with Michael Gash on target after Max Cornhill and Andy Pugh scored for the struggling visitors.