30th October 2018, Runcorn Linnets FC v Vauxhall : 6-1 Sponsored by The Fore Golfers
Runcorn Linnets eased to victory in the Cheshire Senior Cup at the Millbank Linnets Stadium as the gulf in class was too great for Hallmark Security League Division One side Vauxhall Motors.
The Motormen headed back to Ellesmere Port on the wrong end of a 6-1 defeat but with their heads held high, having always endeavoured to play a fair part in the contest.
Matty Holmes, Zac Aley, Bobby Evans, Niall Watson and Kurt Sherlock were all brought into the starting eleven by Michael Ellison as he shuffled his pack slightly. But the manager still went with a very strong side in a competition that has borne minimal fruit for Runcorn in recent years.
Linnets took the lead early and never looked back. Bobby Evans opened the scoring with his first goal for the club after just five minutes.
Only eight minutes later the lead was doubled as Kurt Sherlock was on hand to pounce on a mistake from the Motors goalkeeper to turn in Zac Aley's corner from a yard out.
With the Linnets dominating play, it wasn't long before Sherlock struck again, putting the Linnets three goals ahead after 23 minutes. He controlled Paul Shanley's low cross before firing home left footed from six yards out.
The victory was then put beyond any doubt on the half-hour mark as Bobby Evans, impressive all evening, scored his second and Linnets' fourth.
Connor McCarthy picked out Evans just inside the penalty area and the midfielder drilled a low shot across the goalkeeper and into the far bottom corner.
Sherlock was withdrawn at half time and replaced by Louis Corrigan. This allowed Zac Aley to venture further upfield from his initial left-back starting position.
To the credit of the Motormen, they came out and had a go at the start of the second half, drawing a fine low save from Matty Holmes early on before winning and converting a penalty on the hour, thanks to ex-Linnet Danny Cross.
The last two Runcorn goals of the evening were both exceptional, while being completely different to each other.
Connor McCarthy restored the Linnets' four-goal lead on 67 minutes. Niall Watson found space to run into the right flank and picked out McCarthy with a low cross to the front post. McCarthy showed unbelievable skill and close control to spin and backheel the ball into the net in a single move, leaving the Motors goalkeeper and the watching Linnets faithful astounded!
The sixth and final goal was one to enjoy and savour!
The goalkeeper got a solid clearing punch on Louis Corrigan's corner kick, but the ball was cleared directly to Zac Aley.
Positioned 25 yards from goal, Aley returned a first-time volley which left the 'keeper rooted to the spot and slammed into the top corner of the net!
It was a brilliant strike from a slightly awkward standing position - one that rounded off the evening nicely.
It was also due reward for the determination showed by Aley over the last 14 months to get himself back into the team after a hellish struggle with injury.
We now look forward to what feels like a long-awaited return to EVO-STIK League West Division action at the MLS on Saturday afternoon. One of the early- season pace setters, Leek Town visit for a highly-anticipated fixture.
This match itself is the start of what promises to be a fantastic day at the club as our game is followed immediately by Arsenal v Liverpool being screened live on BT Sport in the clubhouse.
At 8pm, the club is holding one of our major fundraising events with a Race Night.
These evenings always turn out to be enjoyable and highly entertaining!
See you all then!
Runcorn Linnets:Matt Holmes, Zac Aley, Aaron Morris, Peter Wylie, Michael Simpson, Kieran Nolan, Robert Evans, Niall Watson, Connor McCarthy, Kurt Sherlock, Paul Shanley (c). Subs: Louis Corrigan, Kris Holt, Ronnie McCarthy. Not used: Kyle Hamid, Chris Lawton
Runcorn Linnets paid respects ahead of the county cup game to those, who lost their lives in the helicopter tragedy at Leicester City Football Club on Saturday.
A minute's silence was observed before kick off in tribute to the Premier League club chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his four colleagues Kaveporn Punpare, Nursara Suknamai, Izabela Roza Lechowicz and Eric Swaffer, who also died in the crash.
Runcorn Linnets join the EVO-STIK League and fellow member clubs in offering sincere condolences to the victims' families and all involved with Leicester City Football Club.
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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