17th July 2018, Runcorn Linnets FC v Ashton United : 2-3
For the second time in four days, Linnets were beaten when entertaining a side from the National League North but again the performance was not without promise.
The opening exchanges saw Linnets chasing shadows and on six minutes an Ashton forward, through on goal, was brought down by Danny O'Brien for a penalty, which was coolly converted.
Thereafter though Linnets took charge of play and what little there was choose between the teams favoured the home side.
The Linnets started with four trialists. The No.9 had a couple of opportunities to impress, which he spurned. But then, in the 25th minute, he powered home a close-range effort following a good team move.
In the 51st minute, another collective defensive error resulted in a gift of a goal for Ashton.
More defensive frailty yielded another gilt-edged chance of which the clinical Ashton forwards took advantage.
A 3-1 deficit at this stage was an unfair reflection of the Linnets' performance, but giftwrapping chances for teams from two divisions above is at best inadvisable.
Dylan Forth played well behind a defence that didn't provide him with the cover that he might have hoped for. Were it not for some excellent work from the Linnets 'keeper, the score could have been much worse.
Freddie Potter entered the fray in the second half and it didn't take him long to switch the focus to the other end of the pitch. After a period of sustained pressure, Potter added a second for Linnets with a well-placed shot from just inside the Ashton penalty area; just reward for the forward play of the team on the night.
The Linnets' defence is taking time to form an understanding. Once that falls into place, there has been plenty of promise to take away from the first two friendlies against strong opposition.
Runcorn Linnets: Dylan Forth, Louis Corrigan, Trialist A, Adam Morris, Danny O'Brien, Kieran Nolan, Trialist B, Kyle Hamid (c), Trialist C, Paul Shanley, Trialist D. Subs: Freddie Potter, Trialist E, Michael Simpson, Kasie Jones, Trialist F, Trialist G.
NB. The views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Runcorn Linnets FC or its Board.
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