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Match report - Prescot Cables 2 Runcorn Linnets 2

Updated: Apr 4

By Jack McGorry; Pictures by Charlie Buckley

After Good Friday’s tough-to-take 0-0 home draw against Nantwich Town, the Yellows looked to Easter Monday’s second-versus-third clash, away to Prescot Cables, to further press their claims on runners-up spot in Pitching In Northern Premier League West.

There were initial concerns that the match was not going to go ahead, but after an 11.45am pitch inspection, and thanks to outstanding work from Cables staff and volunteers, it was game on.

Travelling Linnets fans arrived in their droves to a rather packed-out Joseph Russell Stadium to be part of an impressive attendance of 1,230.  

Manager Billy Paynter made four changes to the XI that had started against Nantwich Town - Peter Wylie, Kieran Knapper, Ryan Brooke and Eden Gumbs coming in for Sam Barratt, Will Saxon, Olly Molloy and Mackenzie O’Neill.

This was a game that prior to kick- off had all the hallmarks of being a closely-fought affair, and it certainly lived up to the billing.

The first half was indeed lively and end to end, as both sides were keen to get on the scoresheet first.

The first real chance fell to Cables in the 12th minute, as a swooping cross from a corner nearly caught Yellows 'keeper Bayleigh Passant by surprise.

It was heading for the top-left corner of the goal until Passant made a scrambling save to release the ball into the box - resulting in Alex McNally’s rebound effort being cleared off the line by Linnets captain James Short.


The Yellows struck the opening blow 20 minutes later.

Cables captain James Foley was caught handling the ball inside the box, receiving a yellow card for his trouble. Many of the visiting players, and fans were asking for red. 

It was the big, calm Irishman Sean O’Mahony, who stepped up to dispatch his penalty unerringly into the top-right corner.  

Linnets pressed hard to grab another goal towards the end of the half but headed back to the dressing room with just the one as the rain started to pour onto an already slippery surface.

Prescot were rewarded for their attacking pressure early in the second half. Foley’s attempt from outside of the box was deflected and found the feet of Kyle Sambor, who laid it off for John Murphy to fire in the equaliser.

With their tails up, Cables nearly found themselves in the lead two minutes later but ex-Linnet Tony Donaldson’s header hit the crossbar.

Eden Gumbs was next to come close for the Linnets. His curling 25-yard effort had 'keeper Mitchell Allen beaten all ends up but went just wide of the Cables’ goal.

It wasn’t long before the Linnets found themselves back in the lead, O’Mahony on the scoresheet again in the 64th minute.

He met James Short’s right-wing corner at the near post, glancing a finely-placed header past Allen and into the net, sparking wild celebrations from the brilliant away support.

Prescot attempts to level the scoring for a second time succeeded with 10 minutes remaining.

A scuffed effort to clear, from Yellows' new midfielder Joe Thompson, unfortunately found Francis Smith who slammed home from the edge of the box.

In the last moments of this fascinating fixture, Cables substitute Charlie Glennon sensed a chance to wrap up all three points after being played cleanly through by Sambor.

But the linesman deemed Glennon to have drifted offside.

Cue relief on the Linnets,bench and among the travelling supporters.

No doubt this will go down as one of the best games the league has seen this season.

Both teams gave it their all in muddy and wet conditions in front of a huge crowd, and a draw was certainly the most fitting result.

There were firm handshakes all around and with play-offs very much in the offing for both clubs, this might not be the last Linnets-Cables showdown this season.

Runcorn remain two points behind Prescot in the table, Leek Town having clinched the title with four games to spare.

Runcorn Linnets: Bayleigh Passant, Peter Wylie, James Short, Joe Thompson, Sean O’Mahony, Antony Kay, Kieran Knapper (Sam Barratt, 88 mins), Jacques Welsh (Mackenzie O'Neill, 85 mins), Ryan Brooke, Lewis Doyle, Eden Gumbs (Will Saxon, 59 mins). Subs (not used): Josh Roberts (GK), James Hooper.

Attendance: 1,230.

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