Battling Nelson gave high-flying Northwich a scare at the Barton Stadium on Saturday, losing 4-2 in Paul Fildes’ first game in charge.
Fildes handed debuts to new signings Tom Bradley, Stephen Cassidy and Luke Thompson, while there was a return for Mamoke Akaunu, who enjoyed trials earlier this year with Sporting Lisbon and Braga.
The hosts threatened early on, as Matthew Beadle fired wide, before Stuart Wellstead rounded keeper Callum Jakovlevs, only to hit the post from a tight angle.
And they went in front on 20 minutes as a corner was half cleared to Beadle, and his cross was headed home by Michael Brandon from inside the six-yard box.
Nelson responded as Ashley Brierley centred for Mamoke, whose effort was smothered.
The Blues went into the break 1-0 down, but after Adam Nuttall was beaten to the ball by keeper Matt Conkie in a one on one, Northwich doubled their advantage as Brandon received the ball with time and space in the area, before slotting under Jakovlevs.
The Admirals halved the deficit within two minutes as Brierley fed Mamoke, who superbly curled the ball past the keeper from distance.
Nuttall pulled a shot wide as Nelson searched for an equaliser, before Jakovlevs denied Brandon a hat-trick from a header.
On the hour, Nelson levelled matters as, under pressure from Mamoke, 1874 defender Ryan Mitchell’s back pass rolled past Conkie, who had slipped.
However, a controversial penalty decision turned the game, as an innocuous push in the back led to a free kick award, only for the linesman to indicate the incident was inside the area.
The spot kick was tucked away by Beadle.
Brandon and Beadle went close to a fourth for Northwich, but with the last kick of the game, Wellstead broke away to thread the ball through Jakovlevs’ legs and seal victory for the hosts.
Nelson’s home game with Squires Gate on Tuesday night was postponed, and the Blues are now without a game until a week tomorrow when they host Cammell Laird.