26th March 2019, Runcorn Linnets FC v Kendal Town : 3-0 Sponsored by Kerry's Krazy Kostumes
Runcorn Linnets quickly brushed aside Saturday's defeat at Radcliffe with an excellent 3-0 victory against Kendal Town at the Millbank Linnets Stadium on Tuesday night.
Three second-half goals put paid to a spirited Kendal side.
Paul Shanley and Bobby Evans made way in the starting eleven from Saturday and were replaced by Mitch Bryant and Josh Dobie.
Kicking towards the clubhouse end in the first half, Runcorn dominated play but couldn't break down a determined and dogged Kendal defence and goalkeeper.
Tom Bailey had the first chance after nine minutes. Finding space on the left side, outside the penalty area, he dragged the ball onto his right foot but curled a shot wide of the far post.
Kris Holt went close with a dipping volley from outside the box, the ball dropping on the wrong side of the bar.
Ryan Gibson then worked the goalkeeper after the winger's quick feet had created a yard of space. However, the 'keeper was right behind the shot.
With half an hour gone, a big decision went against the Linnets. Gibson broke at pace into the Kendal penalty area and was challenged unfairly as he rounded the goalkeeper.
But Gibbo battled to stay on his feet, as opposed to hitting the deck. In doing so, the angle went against the player and he couldn't direct his shot on target.
The referee didn't pull back the advantage and award the penalty which would certainly have been given had Gibson gone down under the challenge.
Early in the second half, the shape of the game could have changed significantly had Kendal converted one of a quickfire pair of chances.
From a Linnets corner, the visitors broke away at pace to find themselves in a three- on-two situation approaching the Linnets penalty area.
But the wrong option of a shot from a tight angle was taken when a cross could have picked out one of two men spare at the far post.
A minute later, a Jordan Perrin kick fell straight to the feet of a Mintcakes player in the centre circle and with Perrin out of his goal a long-range strike dropped just wide.
With an hour played, Ello decided it was time for a change, bringing on Ronnie McCarthy and Freddie Potter for Dobie and Bailey. The impact this made could not have been more immediate!
In the 62nd minute, the deadlock was finally broken, and it was a long-awaited return to the scoresheet after injury for Freddie Potter!
A cross into the Kendal penalty area was cleared towards Potter, who was lurking near the far post - and Freddie spun on the spot to slam the ball into the back of the net with a first-time volley.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled as the Kendal resistance finally buckled. Mitch Bryant and Kurt Sherlock combined to round the 'keeper with Bryant being credited with making the final touch from close range.
Sherlock made way for Danny O'Brien as the game entered its final 10 minutes, and in the 87th minute, the gloss was added to the scoreline.
Freddie Potter bagged his second and Runcorn's third. Mitch Bryant made a great run up the right flank and found a perfect cross to Potter, who was in position again at the far post to turn in the ball from close range.
Potter had a great chance to complete a 30-minute hat trick in injury time when the Linnets were awarded a penalty, Mitch Bryant having been sent tumbling.
Potter took the spot kick but struck the inside of a post, the ball shooting back across goal but away to safety.
The referee immediately blew for full time.
It had taken a while for Linnets to get there but, in the end, this was a great result and a very good, dominating performance.
As has so often been the case in his time as manager, Ello's timing and selection of substitutions proved pivotal.
And it was especially pleasing to see Fredie Potter back on the scoresheet and looking so sharp after a lengthy absence.
Several results in and around us on the night went in our favour as the play-off and title races enter their final furlong.
This now sets everything up nicely for what is a huge game at the MLS on Saturday, as we host another of the teams well in the running, Ramsbottom United.
We need to pack the place out on Saturday! Lots of noise and lots of colour are needed as we as fans try do our bit to help the lads through another very difficult game. Kick off is, as normal, at 3pm!
Runcorn Linnets: Jordan Perrin, Louis Corrigan, Aaron Morris, Peter Wylie, Ally Brown, Josh Dobie, Kris Holt, Ryan Gibson, Tom Bailey, Kurt Sherlock, Mitch Bryant. Subs: Freddie Potter, Ronnie McCarthy, Danny O'Brien. Not used: Bobby Evans, Frank Jones.
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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