Grimes at the double as Blues maintain seven-point lead

Robert Grimes scores his and Nelson's first goal on Saturday
Robert Grimes scores his and Nelson's first goal on Saturday

Nelson maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the NWC First Division after thrashing mid-table Widnes Vikings 6-0 on Saturday.

Played in the 14,000-seater Select Security Stadium, home of Widnes’ Super League team, the Blues were without Michael Morrison, but Matty O’Neill was back on the bench after injury, while Danny Mahoney was handed his debut.

And Mark Fell’s men were ahead within six minutes on the 3G surface, as Peter Wright teed up Robert Grimes, who drilled a low shot past the home keeper’s right hand.

The Admirals doubled their lead six minutes later, with Wright again the provider as he got to the bye-line before hitting a low cross towards Jonny Hession, only for a home defender to turn the ball into his own net.

Widnes responded well to going 2-0 down, enjoying a semblance of aerial dominance, but the Blues took their advantage into the break.

Three minutes after the interval, the points were secured when Pakistan international Adnan Ahmed picked the ball up 35 yards from goal, and his effort caught out the home keeper, who could only fumble the ball into the net.

Nelson went for the jugular, and O’Neill got his first taste of action after two months on the sidelines.

The former Burnley wideman was involved in the fourth goal as he produced an assist for Wright to get on the scoresheet.

Grimes burst through in typical fashion to net his 14th goal of the season, and he was only denied a a 15th when a fierce strike crashed back off the bar, with Mahoney heading in the rebound to make it 6-0.

Nelson’s League Cup quarter-final on Wednesday night at home to Holker was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

The sides will try again on Tuesday at Holker.

Nelson are at Oldham Boro tomorrow, weather permitting, kick-off 3 p.m.