By Corey Bissell
Linnets continued their fine form after dealing with 1874 Northwich in a game which wasn’t particularly pretty at points.
However, Billy Paynter’s side managed to lift themselves up to third in the table come the final whistle, just three points behind Pitching In Northern Premier League West leaders, Prescot Cables.
The opening exchanges were dominated by the Yellows, who played in their pink, purple and navy away strip as both 1874 kits would have clashed with the home.
Adam Moseley was looking lively off the back of his midweek cameo against Leek.
Northwich, however, made It a tricky first half in total, with Jamie Nicholson looking the most likely to create a moment of magic down the left-hand side, and former Chester and Wigan youth player Lucas Weir asking questions of the Linnets back line with a bombardment of free kicks into the area from distance.
The first big chance of the afternoon fell to Olly Molloy. The Linnets striker saw the ball come across the edge of the 18-yard box from Will Saxon.
Molloy, hard pressed for options, shifted the ball onto his left foot and lashed a shot just wide of the left post.
He would continue to look for what would have been his fifth goal in a week.
Northwich continued to make life difficult for the Yellows throughout the second half.
Another long free kick from Weir found Fenton. With the freedom of the six-yard box, Fenton - fortunately for the home side - miskicked the ball and Linnets were able to clear the danger.
Chances continued at both ends as a huge stop from 1874 goalkeeper Ellis Allen, in the 75th minute, prevented an opener from Lewis Doyle. The No.10 had glanced a header seemingly into the top corner but the shot stopper managed to tip the ball on to the crossbar and away from danger.
The first and only goal came two minutes later from Will Saxon, who plucked the ball out of the air beautifully. He saw runner Olly Molloy steaming into the six-yard box before swinging the ball into a dangerous area.
Molloy was left to be a mere spectator as the ball found its way into the top corner of the Northwich goal. Saxon will claim the strike was intentional to send Linnets into the lead.
It was almost the perfect return to the side for late substitute Ryan Brooke, who managed to get 20 minutes under his belt after returning from injury. The forward robbed the ball from the outcoming Ellis Allen.
However his strike was blocked, and the Yellows top marksman failed to add to his tally of seven for the season so far.
Bayleigh Passant, once again, held firm to keep a third successive clean sheet between the sticks.
The keeper’s afternoon consisted mainly of claiming crosses and punching away from oncoming danger.
However, he stepped up in the 59th minute to come across his goal and produce a spectacular stop to deny Matt Fenton a goal.
Linnets will continue their campaign against 14thplaced Widnes on Saturday , November 25th as they look to march towards the top of the tree come December.
Runcorn Linnets: Bayleigh Passant, Sam Barratt, Eden Gumbs, Jacques Welsh, Peter Wylie, Sean O’Mahony, Will Saxon, Joe Lynch, Olly Molloy, Lewis Doyle (Mwiya Malumo, 90 mins), Adam Moseley (Ryan Brooke, 73 mins). Subs not used: James Hooper, Josh Roberts (GK).
Matchwinner Will Saxon in full flight against derby visitors 1874 Northwich (Photo courtesy of Neil Thornton).