ACCRINGTON Stanley stepped up a gear in their preparations for August 5 as many of their players got their first 90 minutes under their belts.
And John Coleman was pleased at how his team looked as the Reds enjoyed a comfortable win over the Conference North champions.
"The players are getting stronger," said the boss. "We looked quite fit and sharp which is all part of the progress to August 5.
"I thought we looked exceptional going forward and we defended quite well and I don't think we deserved to concede a goal."
Rommy Boco scored his first goal of the pre-season when he latched onto Gary Robert's cut back and looped the ball home on 27 minutes.
Stanley were always a threat going forward with some strong runs but the defence was almost caught out when former Rochdale striker Kevin Townson broke the off-side trap but new recruit, keeper Ian Dunbavin, closed down his initial shot and Townson fired onto the side of the post.
However, Stanley's finishing was far superior and Sean Doherty scored a superb solo goal floating the ball over keeper Phil Senior from the edge of the area just after the re-start.
Senior - who came on against Stanley for Huddersfield in their FA Cup clash three years ago - then finger-tipped an Ian Craney rasping shot over but, from the resulting Roberts' corner, he could do nothing about Michael Welch's towering header.
"I enjoyed that," admitted the defender who is eager to increase his goal tally this season after two goals in the last campaign.
Northwich were then awarded a controversial penalty for a foul by Peter Cavanagh on Johnny Allan - the right back hardly touched the striker - but Allan slotted home what is a customary goal against Stanley.
However, David Brown restored the three-goal cushion when he turned and whipped a Roberts' corner low into the bottom of the net for his third goal of the five pre-season outings so far.
And it could have been high fives when Boco charged down the wing and played in a perfect ball for the unmarked Roberts but the wideman ballooned it into the cement works behind the goal.
Coleman gave trialist Simeon Howell, an ex-Reading midfielder, another run out and former Burnley man Nicky Platt came on in the second half to try and fight for a contract.
There was also a Stanley debut for first year scholar Michael Donlon who came on for the last 10 minutes in goal but had little to do.
STANLEY: Dunbavin (Donlon 80), Cavanagh, Richardson, Welch, N'Da, Roberts, Craney (Platt 62), Howell (Procter 62), Doherty (Harris 72), Boco, Brown.
NORTHWICH: Senior, Battersby, Gallimore, Payne, Elliott, Byrne, Townson, Allan, Sale, Williams.