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17 May 2021 : Linnets Announce Pre-Season Schedule - 2021 / 22

Linnets Announce Pre-Season Schedule 2021 / 22

A typical mix of opponents old and new from various leagues awaits our first team in the build-up to the 2021-22 season.

In the hope that we can get through the Pitching In Northern Premier League season unblemished after two incomplete campaigns, manager Calum McIntyre has assembled a seven-game schedule with the prospect of an eighth game being added nearer to the time.

There are currently four home games and three aways with matches at The Millbank bringing a Runcorn return for two visiting managers.

Former Runcorn AFC player/manager Liam Watson will be in charge of Southport, the club he initially joined in 2003 upon leaving his role with Runcorn. He has since had three further spells as Sandgrounders boss, including one as caretaker. Southport, members of National League North, are the highest ranked of the seven confirmed opponents.

West Lancashire League club Euxton Villa's trip to Murdishaw will likewise bring another nostalgic reunion for their manager.

Matt Atherton is of course our record appearance holder and the match-up will be all the more special for the player affectionately known as "Mr Runcorn", seeing as this one is at The Millbank.

This will be our third successive pre-season meeting of the clubs, the previous two contests having been at Euxton's Jim Fowler Memorial Ground.

The two remaining home games announced today are against St Helens-based Pilkington FC (a Division One side in the North West Counties League, who we meet for the first time), and our most familiar summer opposition in Witton Albion.

The clubs have met regularly in curtainraisers - our one-time landlords Witton having first visited in 2010 for a warm-up fixture, which was also the inaugural fixture at our own ground.

The NPL Premier outfit are here this time on the last Saturday in July.

With the NPL season due to start on Saturday, August 14th, there is scope for a further game on Saturday, August 7th - this is the aforementioned vacancy still to be filled.

Pre-season action will begin with an away fixture on Saturday, June 26th when we lock horns for the first time with Sandbach United.

Cheshire neighbours from the south of the county, Sandbach are looking forward to their sixth season of NWCL Division One football.

This game will be followed a week later by another maiden trip - to Litherland REMYCA, with whom we have no past playing history.

A NWCL club since 2014-15, they have been in the Premier Division for the last three seasons.

Completing the pre-season list as it stands is an all-Linnets affair at Burscough.

Our only previous encounters were league games during our run to tne North West Counties League's top-flight title in 2017-18 with Runcorn's Linnets winning on both occasions.

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