HALLMARK SECURITY LEAGUE
AFC DARWEN 0 RUNCORN LINNETS 3
Patience was the order of the day on a glorious Saturday afternoon in Darwen, where despite dominating proceedings from the off, Runcorn Linnets had to wait until the final quarter of the match before opening the scoring.
The early exchanges were subdued, both sides acclimatising to the heat, but when Mark Houghon got round Ben Proctor but volleyed wide, Linnets went on to take complete control without being able to make the net ripple.
Houghton got in on the ‘keeper three times in the first half but was unable to convert, and both Freddie Potter and Anthony Hickey put headers wide from deadly Danny McKenna crosses when well placed.
It took a last-ditch sliding block to prevent Aaron Morris from opening the scoring for the visitors before a flicked header by a Darwen defender in his own penalty area had his ‘keeper beaten but dropped inches wide of the post.
Half Time: AFC Darwen 0 Runcorn Linnets 0
With half an hour remaining, Runcorn Linnets made a triple substitution, introducing Kyle Hamid, Mike Simpson and Stu Wellstead to the fray and giving them ample time to affect the outcome of the game.
The effect was immediate as the injection of pace and energy on a sapping afternoon rejuvenated the visitors, who set about winning the game.
The breakthrough finally came in the 68th minute. Danny McKenna had the ball on the left and drilled in a dart-like cross to the far post where Wellstead had sneaked in under the radar to plant a firm header across the ‘keeper and remove any worries that all the pressure would come to nothing.
Within eight minutes, the score was 0-3 and the victory secured. Freddie Potter could have got the goal that his play deserved when he was one on one with the ‘keeper but as Potter was upended, the ball fell to his team mate Zac Aley.
The third goal was the pick of the bunch as a lobbed through ball from skipper Hamid caught the Darwen defence flat footed and Wellstead lifted the ball over the advancing ‘keeper to add some gloss to the score line.
Full Time: AFC Darwen 0 Runcorn Linnets 3
(Match report courtesy of Runcorn Linnets)
REFEREE: Dale Baines
GOALS AND TIMES:
Runcorn Linnets: Wellstead (68, 76), Aley (74)
OPPONENTS CHOICE AS MAN OF THE MATCH:
Runcorn Linnets: Thomas Hardwick
AFC Darwen: Ben Proctor
YELLOW CARDS: Lonsdale (AFC Darwen)
1 Adam Caunce
2 Daniel McKenna
3 Thomas Hardwick
4 Aaron Morris
5 Danny O’Brien
6 Kieran Nolan
7 Zachery Allen
8 Kristian Holt
9 Mark Houghton (Capt.)
10 Freddie Potter
11 Antony Hickey
12 Kyle Hamid (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
14 Stuart Wellstead (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
15 Michael Simpson (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
16 Christopher Lawton
17 Adam Wade
1 Ben Proctor
2 Keith Wedge
3 Kallum Banks
4 Jordan Scott
5 Adam Douglas
6 Reece Malone
7 Declan Cunliffe
8 Kyle Lonsdale (Capt.)
9 Liam Cole
10 Karl Turner
11 Anthony Lynch
12 Samuel Dickinson (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
14 Jamie Edwards (replaced ?? ?? minutes)
15 Daniel Russell (replaced ??, ?? minutes)
16 Matthew Allen
17 Mohammed Nabeel