RUNCORN LINNETS 3 V 2 1874 NORTHWICH
When 4th placed 1874 Northwich travelled to “top the table” Runcorn Linnets on Saturday a keenly contested game was expected – similar to the one between the two teams at the Barton Stadium in September and the excellent crowd of 665 certainly witnessed a keen encounter.
The opening ten minutes saw both sides doing their best to exert a hold on the game but the only real chance fell to the home side after eight minutes but Potter’s effort was easily dealt with by Conkie.
1874’s best move came when Chappell and Stewart combined well to allow the supporting Duckworth to cross an inviting ball into the Runcorn area but their keeper, Mottram, saved well.
Then after 12 minutes Runcorn took the lead when a long raking cross from their right flank was allowed to pass through the 1874 area to the poaching Kevin Towey who easily passed the ball into the net.
The game then started to liven up considerably with end to end action and although the home side were keeping possession much the better both sides were creating half chances with Brandon just being unable to get a clean strike when put clear whilst Potter had a shot well saved by Conkie at the other end.
However, in the 28th minute the sides were level when Brandon netted from close range after the Runcorn keeper spilled the ball when attempting to deal with a corner.
The next chance of the game came quickly afterwards and it looked like Wade would restore Runcorn’s one-goal advantage but an interception by Mitchell prevented the score.
The last chance of the half came to 1874 after Brandon had held the ball up well before finding Ryan Stewart with an excellent raking pass but Stewart’s effort went high and wide. Half-Time 1-1
Six minutes into the second half and 1874 found themselves in front when good work by Wellstead finished with him finding Brandon who netted comfortable again from close in.
At this stage it seemed obvious that the game would have more goals but nobody could have forecast who would score and how.
With twenty minutes remaining Runcorn’s imposing centre back White headed over from a corner when most would have expected him to at least have hit the target but he was not to be outdone and in the 78th minute the scores were level courtesy of a White penalty – his sixth of the season – after an 1874 defender conceded a foul in the penalty area.
So with just 15 minutes or so remaining everything looked set for a rip roaring finale but in the 85th minute it all went “pear-shaped”.
Matty Ward appeared to be fouled by a reckless tackle and as the offender rolled over and over players from both sides rushed to the scene for a bout of handbags but somewhat amazingly after a few minutes delay the referee, after consulting with one of his assistants, produced a red card for Ward and then followed this with red cards for Chappell and a Runcorn player!
After this, Runcorn certainly made their extra man advantage payoff as they secured all three points courtesy of Potter’s headed goal in the 88th minute whilst the strong travelling contingent from Northwich were left wondering just how such a fine game for so long had finished with them having only nine players and losing to a late goal when they certainly deserved a share of the spoils
1874: Conkie; Mitchell; Duckworth; Bayley; Thomas; Chappell; Wellstead; M Woolley; Brandon; Ward; and Stewart. Subs: Connor; Beadle; Lunn; Crofts and Bowyer
|Sat 28 Feb 2015||3:00 pm||NWCFL Premier Division||2014/15|
|Millbank Linnets Stadium|
|Stockham Ln, Runcorn WA7 6HP, UK|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals|