AFTER THE LORD MAYOR’S SHOW
BY GARRY CLARKE
1874 NORTHWICH 2-4 RUNCORN LINNETS HSL PREMIER 7TH OCT 2017
After an energy sapping mid week cup replay which included extra time they last thing 1874 Northwich needed was a visit from their bogey side Runcorn Linnets, a team they still have not beaten after seven attempts.
A heavy pitch which got boggier as the rain continued to sweep across St Luke’s Barton Stadium handicapped both teams, although Runcorn were quicker to the ball and passed it around better than their hosts, who turned in a tired looking performance.
Second in the HSL table, Runcorn played at a high tempo from the kick off running an 1874 team lacking several regular players ragged in the opening stanza as the home side struggled to respond.
Runcorn opened the scoring in the 9th minute. Paul Shanley delivered a cross from the left wing to the far post where Mark Houghton rose highest to head the ball into 1874’s net. Seven minutes later Shanley, in the middle of the 1874 penalty area, headed home unchallenged from a corner to double Runcorn’s lead.
In the 25th minute Runcorn goalkeeper Matt Holmes took too long in trying to clear the ball allowing Scott McGowan to nip in and nick the ball back to Adam Whitlock, whose chip shot just cleared the bar with Runcorn defenders scrambling back to cover their keeper.
In the 30th minute Shanley played the ball into 1874’s penalty area where Houghton diverted it goal wards drawing a good save from Greg Hall at point blank range. Five minutes later Shanley delivered another dangerous cross into the 1874 area which with Hall beaten former 1874 player Stuart Wellstead headed against Houghton’s back.
Hall, who had comfortably dealt with several crosses and corners, was beaten again in the 43rd minute. Kyle Hamid floated a free kick from the left flank towards the far post, looking like it was going wide at the last moment the ball curled into the top corner of the net.
The second half opened with Taylor Kennerley firing a free kick inches over the Runcorn bar.
Runcorn were soon back on the attack. As the ball pinged around the 1874 box, Michael Simpson’s shot was deflected over the bar for a corner by Lee Jackson. 1874 managed to scramble the resulting corner out for another corner, however the second delivery found Houghton stood alone in the six yard box, the Runcorn hit man diverted the ball into the net in the 54th minute.
1874 tried their best to get back into a game which most people would have considered to have already been lost but gave the ball away to easily as Runcorn’s solid back four and hard working midfield cut out passes before they could reach the 1874 front men.
After Wellstead had sent a free kick wide of the target, 1874 came to life in the closing minutes. Clevon Beadle ended a run down the right wing with a cross which scrapped the top of the bar, while Jake Parker fired in two shots from outside the area, the first was wide of the target and the second drew a save from Holmes.
1874 grabbed a consolation goal in the 88th minute. Ben Woods raced onto a long ball, pulled it back to McGowan who slid it to Sam Hind who drilled it home from 12 yards.
A minute later Matt Woolley unleashed a fierce drive from outside of the area, taking a deflection off a Runcorn defender the ball looped over Holmes and into the net.
1874 – Hall, Connor (Riley ht), L Jackson, Pritchard, Lever, Parker, Whitlock (Beadle ht), M Woolley, McGowan, Hind, Kennerley (Woods 70). Subs not used Waite-Jackson, Meadowcroft.
RUNCORN – Holmes, Atherton, Morris, Moore, O’Brien (Jones 80), Simpson, Wellstead (Lucy 80), Hamid, Houghton (Potter 60), Shanley, Hickey. Subs not used Bryant, Nolan.
GOALS – 1874 Hind 88, M Woolley 89. RL – Houghton 9,54 Shanley 16, Hamid 44
ATTENDANCE 436 REFEREE L Smith
|Sat 7 Oct 2017||3:00 pm||Hallmark Security League Premier||2017/18||436|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|
|Referee||Assistant Referee 1||Assistant Referee 2|
|Lewis Smith||Bob Richards||Nigel Usher|
KO 42 45 45 69 70 86 88 89 FT