PHIL Roberts admitted to a sense of relief after his Daisy Hill team got their first win that did not require a penalty shootout.

It finally came together for the Daisies as they thumped hosts New Mills 5-1 to put some distance between themselves and the First Division’s bottom team, Nelson.

Roberts’ side had enjoyed a First Division Cup win against St Helens Town via a shootout but they broke their duck in the league in fine style.

“It was time everything came together for us,” he said. “They beat Alsager last week, they are a good team, we have lost to worse than New Mills.

“We had a change in formation, switching from three at the back to a four and we just looked far more balanced. I think it was also the first time we had two natural left-footers in the team, at left-back and left midfield.

"We pushed Jordan Donnelly up from midfield into attack, alongside Jordan Prescott and the pair were brilliant, they worked really hard and gave their defenders a terrible time, they were a real handful.

"We fell behind after we had missed an open goal and another good chance but the reaction by the lads was excellent, we equalised two minutes later. Then we shot out of the blocks in the second half and blew them away."

After they fell behind at Church Lane a new-found resilience saw them hit back through Thomas Gardiner. And once they took the lead through the impressive Prescott there was no way back for New Mills, who fell further behind to Michael Gervin's brace.

Substitute Ulrich Ngamba put the gloss on their victory with a fifth goal a minute from time.

Although it was a huge confidence boost, Roberts can go through the rest of the season safe in the knowledge they are safe from the threat of relegation, since the Hallmark Security League's reorganisation for next term means no one will take the drop this season.

Despite this, Roberts is keen to climb the table and give all the players at the club a chance to prove they should remain at Daisy Hill next season.

"There's a nice buzz about the place," he added. "We feel like the season's started for us now, I said to the lads after Saturday's win we will lose more games this season but we won't get hammered in any.

"We've got a 'no train, no play' policy now. Scott Derbyshire [first-team coach] takes the sessions and the attitude of the boys is really good, they are looking fit.

"Michael Gervin is a fit lad and he is really talented behind the front men too, he showed at New Mills just what he can do when he adds the work rate to his ability.

"I want all the lads to show me they should be here next season – we're not going up or down this season but I want to go into summer on a high, I want us to put a good run of results together and get towards the middle of the table by playing good football. I haven't come here to mess about at the bottom of the table.

"I want to brighten the place up, Daisy Hill has had a hard time of it in the last couple of years but next season I want us to be challenging for the play-offs."

Atherton LR fell to defeat on Saturday, losing 4-1 at home to mid-table rivals Carlisle City.

Christian Grundy scored the only goal for LR, who sit 13th in the table.

n In the Manchester League, Bolton County fell to the bottom of the Premier Division after their 4-3 defeat at East Manchester.

Liam Short, Liam Stewart and Alex Todd were on the mark but County's loss means Old Altrinchamians move above them.