Poor defending in the first half cost the Bloods this game but the home side’s failure to put away numerous chances nearly let Dave Pace’s team claim a point at the Halton Stadium.
Droylsden, in a poor first half, found themselves two down inside fourteen minutes, both goals coming from man of the match Hodkinson.
The first from a break after Domaine Rouse lost the ball on the halfway line, the second from the penalty spot after being pulled down in the box getting the better of Diego Lattie.
The Bloods could have taken the lead after just six minutes when Danny Wilkins was put through on goal but took one touch too many round keeper Wheeler and pushed the ball wide.
It was one way traffic for the rest of the half with Hodkinson creating problems for the Droylsden defence, centring for Conor Ready whose effort was blocked and skilfully turning the Bloods defence only to shoot over with the goal at his mercy.
In between former Blood Shaun Holden shot inches wide from the edge of the area and Thompson saved low to his left from full back Steele.
After the restart, Steele had a glorious chance for a third getting behind the Droylsden defence only to lob Thompson and the Bloods crossbar.
Soon after came changes, Jamie Frost and Colin Murray on for Andy Langford and Jack Dorney and the men in blue sprang into life.
Wheeler saving from point blank range to deny Aaron Burns before a third change saw Rhys Clooney on for Rigby and it was the substitute who Created the goal, his shot deflected for the corner which he took and found the unmarked head of Phil Clarke who scored in the top corner.
The Bloods now seemed the more likely to score again and really should have equalised when Wheeler under pressure dropped the ball with the hooked attempt coming back off the underside of the bar with just five minutes left on the clock.
But with Droylsden pushing for a second, Widnes substitute Klein Davies was allowed far too much time in the box to drill the ball into the bottom corner to make it 3-1.