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Match report - Vauxhall Motors 2 Runcorn Linnets 4

Linnets headed off two potential Vauxhall fightbacks to return to the winning track with a first double of the Pitching In Nothern Premier League West campaign.


Victory was memorable not only for Linnets' highest away score this season but also for a match-turning, if ill-fated cameo appearance by James Hooper.


He came on in the 50th minute, put Runcorn 2-1 up by scoring in the 54th minute with only his second touch of the ball but within eight minutes of his introduction, left the field swathed in bandages.


Thrown off balance by a challenge, he had careered into the pitch perimeter fencing, sustaining a serious wrist injury and a gash to the head.


An eventful second half closed with a red card for Vauxhall's Jason Akiotu for violent conduct, after punching Linnets midfieldman Jacques Welsh.


The first half had been comparatively quiet with Linnets going ahead in the 23rd minute through the first of two set-piece goals by their central defenders.


Lewis Doyle's corner was unconvincingly met by the head of a home defender with the half-clearance being chested down and lashed home by Antony Kay from seven yards, his effort going in off the underside of the bar.


Thoughts that this would be a launchpad for a Linnets victory ultimately proved to be correct, although slightly premature as Vauxhall were level at the break following a rare error by Bayleigh Passant.


Jay Harvey's header was straight at the Runcorn 'keeper, who should have had it covered.


Instead, it went under his body to put the reigning North West Counties League Premier Division champions back on terms.


Runcorn had to weather a spell of pressure immediately after the goal before creating some more chances of their own.


On the balance of play, they ought to have been in pole position at the break, but the 1-1 scoreline made it anyone's game.


Vauxhall started the second half brightly, prompting a double Linnets substitution which turned the contest back in favour of the visitors, Hooper and Ryan Brooke being introduced.


Good play involving Olly Molloy and Will Saxon set up Hooper to restore the Runcorn advantage with a deft left-foot finish from the right of the penalty area, before he had to be replaced.


Only just off the casualty list, Hooper faces a lengthy absence after surgery on his damaged wrist.


Sean O'Mahony became the second defensive scorer of the afternoon for Linnets, bundling the ball over the line from a 79th-minute James Short free-kick into the centre of the penalty area.


It looked to be game over with Vauxhall having largely faded out of the contest but their chances were reignited in the 86th minute. Jordan Deer applied a tidy finish to a left-wing cross.


Comeback hopes were extinguished a minute from the end of normal time. Runcorn's leading marksman Molloy, having missed two easier opportunities, scored from the edge of the box.


The opening had been set up by a second assist by man-of-the-match Will Saxon.


In stoppage time, Akiotu was sent off, receiving a 'straight red' for violent conduct, having been cautioned earlier in the half for a reckless challenge.


It was an important win for Linnets and kept them third in the table and still in strong promotion contention.


Runcorn Linnets: Bayleigh Passant, Sam Barratt, James Short, Jacques Welsh, Sean O'Mahony, Antony Kay, Will Saxon, Joe Lynch (Ryan Brooke, 51 mins), Oliver Molloy, Lewis Doyle, Kieran Knapper (James Hooper 50 mins, James Hooper replaced by Adam Moseley 58 mins). Sub (not used): Eric Byrne.



Attendance: 356.




























































































Vauxhall Motors 2 Runcorn Linnets 4



Runcorn Linnets headed off two potential Vauxhall fightbacks to get back on the winning track with a first double of the Pitching In Nothern Premier League campaign.



Victory was menorable for Linnets' highest away score this season but also for a match-turning, if ill-fated cameo appearance by James Hooper.



He came on in the 50th minute, sent Runcorn 2-1 up by scoring in the 54th minute with only his second touch of the ball but within eight minutes of his introduction, left the field swathed in bandages.



Bundled off balance by a challenge, he had careered into the pitch perimeter fencing, sustaining a serious wrist injury and a gash to the head.



An eventful second half closed with a red card for Vauxhall's Jason Akiotu for violent conduct after punching Linnets midfieldman Jacques Welsh.



The first half had been comparatively quiet with Linnets going ahead in the 23rd minute with the first of two set-piece goals by central defenders.



Antony Kay was the beneficiary of the generous award of a corner to Runcorn - it looked as though the decision should have been a goal kick to the Motormen.



Lewis Doyle's delivery was unconvincingly met by the head of a home defender with the half-clearance being chested down and lashed home by Kay from seven yards, his effort going in off the underside of the bar.



Thoughts that this would be a launchpad for a Linnets victory ultimately proved to be correct, although slightly premature as Vauxhall were level at the break after a rare error by Bayleigh Passant.



Jay Harvey's header was straight at the Runcorn 'keeper, who should have had it covered.



But instead, it went under his body to put the reigning North West Counties League Premier Division champions back on terms.



Runcorn had to weather a spell of pressure immediately after the goal before creating some more chances of their own.



On the run of play, they ought to have been in pole position at the break, but the 1-1 scoreline made it anyone's game.



Vauxhall started the second half brightly, prompting a double Linnets substitution which turned the contest back in favour of the visitors.



Good play involving Olly Molloy and Will Saxon set up substitute Hooper to restore the Runcorn advantage with a deftly-measured left-foot finish from the right of the penalty area, before he had to be replaced. Only just off the casualty list, he faces a lengthy absence after surgery on his damaged wrist.



Sean O'Mahony became the second defensive scorer of the afternoon for Linnets, bundling the ball over the line from a 79th-minute James Short free-kick into the centre of the penalty area.



It looked to be game over with Vauxhall having largely faded out of the contest but their chances were reignited in the 86th minute. Jordan Deer applied a tidy finish to a left-wing cross.



Comeback hopes were extinguished when Olly Molloy, having missed two easier opportunities, scored from the edge of the box a minute from normal time.



The opening had been set up by a second assist by man-of-the-match Will Saxon.



In stoppage time, Akiotu was sent off, receiving a 'straight red' for violent conduct, having been cautioned earlier in the half for a reckless tackle.



It was an important win for Linnets and kept them third in the table and still in strong promotion contention.



Runcorn Linnets: Bayleigh Passant,


Sam Barratt, James Short, Jacques Welsh, Sean O'Mahony, Antony Kay, Will Saxon, Joe Lynch (Ryan Brooke, 51 mins), Oliver Molloy, Lewis Doyle, Kieran Knapper (James Hooper 50 mins, James Hooper replaced by Adam Moseley 58 mins). Sub (not used): Eric Byrne.



Attendance: 356.

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