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30 Jan 2020 : Double transfer is a big deal for Linnets boss

Runcorn Linnets have swooped for two of the BetVictor Northern Premier League's highest-profile attacking talents with manager Michael Ellison hailing the new signings as "good business all round".

Ben Wharton has joined from Premier Division Radcliffe FC while Craig Lindfield has arrived at The Millbank from Marine.

Ben signed for Linnets just a day after Radcliffe announced that he had left the club.

The 29 year old, has made 263 appearances for the club and 87 goals make him the third top marksman in Radcliffe's history.

Ben made his debut in 2008, and returned in 2018 - engineering their promotion via the play-offs from the former Division One West.

His contribution to the team's success in 2018-19 season was immense.

He netted 24 goals in 43 appearances while also boasting eight assists and seven player of the match awards.

With one Football League appearance for Rochdale under his belt (in 2007), a subsequent semi-pro career has taken him to a number of clubs - including Northwich Victoria, Mossley and Warrington Town.

Craig Lindfield, 31, who had a cameo role in Radcliffe's promotion run last season, twice won the FA Youth Cup with Liverpool while gaining England Under 19s international honours.

On leaving Anfield in 2009, he made more than 100 Football League appearances for Macclesfield Town and Accrington Stanley.

Craig was in his second spell at Marine, rejoining them in July 2019 after serving a handful of non-league clubs, most notably Chester in the Conference and FC United of Manchester.

Linnets manager Michael Ellison said: "Both Craig and Ben bring with them a wealth of experience.

"Ben is an out an out No.9 who is strong, physical and certainly knows where the net is.

"Craig is a versatile midfielder and a real technician.

"They will bolster our attacking options and come in at the right time after the disappointment of losing Connor Mcarthy to injury.

"They both had a number of clubs chasing their signatures.

"I'm delighted they chose Runcorn. It's a great bit of business all round."

25 Jan 2020 : Goalkeeping changes at Runcorn Linnets

Runcorn Linnets manager Michael Ellison has signed namesake Craig Ellison (pictured) from Congleton Town as replacement for goalkeeper Michael Emery.

At the same time, we thank Danny Taberner who has answered an SOS to take the No.1 shirt for today's game against Ossett United.

6ft 4in Craig, 33, is a vastly-experienced 'keeper, who has carved out a successful career - combining playing in non-league with high-level coaching and scouting roles.

He took up coaching in 2009, founding Reflex GK Academy, on completing a stint as a youth team player and first-year professional at then Championship club, Crewe Alexandra.

Craig is fully FA qualified and also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in sports coaching.

Responsible for the progression of more than 72 goalkeepers in academy and professional football, Craig was also one of Burnley's Academy coaches for more than two years, and currently occupies a role in talent identification for Manchester City.

As a player, the Mancunian joined Congleton from Witton Albion, having also served clubs including FC Halifax Town, Garforth Town, Curzon Ashton, Burscough, Vauxhall Motors, and Stalybridge Celtic, Droylsden, Colwyn Bay, North Ferriby United and Mossley.

He has also played in Brazil and USA.

Danny Taberner, 26, had a key part in Northwich Vics' run to last season's FA Vase semi-final.

With Craig unavailable for this afternoon's game, Bolton-born Danny (who has also represented Atherton Colls and joined Cheadle Town earlier this month) has agreed to stand in.

Michael Emery said farewell in midweek due to "personal circumstances".

25 Jan 2020 : Runcorn beat Ossett United 2-1

This news item has been added from the Live SMS feed powered by With a great touch from the edge of the 6 yard box in the 3rd minute Paul Shanley scored for the Linnets. In the 15th minute Ally Brown put us a further goal clear following a brilliant shot from close range. Jack Stockdill received a Yellow Card for Ossett United in the 21st minute. Elliott Harrison received a Yellow Card for Ossett United in the 39th minute. In the 51st minute the Linnets substituted Connor McCarthy for Ryan Gibson. In the 52nd minute Connor subbed with what looks like a knee injury. In the 54th minute Ossett United substituted Luke Porritt for Brodie Litchfield. In the 64th minute Ossett United substituted Aaron Haswell for Nick Guest. In the 65th minute the Linnets substituted Lewis McKinney for Louis Hayes. Brodie Litchfield received a Red Card for Ossett United in the 70th minute. James Knowles received a Yellow Card for Ossett United in the 70th minute. In the 74th minute Ossett United substituted Tom Greaves for Corey Gregory. In the 77th minute the Linnets substituted Zac Aley for Yianni Nicolaou. Ossett United closed the gap in the 84th minute with a goal from Jack Stockdill.

Match Report

20 Jan 2020 : Runcorn Foodbank grateful for Linnets support

The club has received a message of thanks from Runcorn & District Foodbank after our recent collection, which was a joint initiative between the senior and junior sections at Runcorn Linnets.

The Foodbank's manager, Colin Keiley writes:

"Our thanks to Runcorn Linnets for their generous donation of 98.5Kg of food, which represents 280 meals provided to people in crisis. We are very grateful for this support of the foodbank enabling us to have sufficient supplies for the need in our area.

"We rely completely on organisations, individuals, schools and churches for both food and financial gifts so you can see how important your support is.

"Please assure all involved that your gift will contribute towards making an important difference to people who are struggling to put food on the table."

17 Jan 2020 : Busy time for Linnets boss in transfer market

Manager Michael Ellison has bolstered his squad with three signings while extending the stays of two on-loan players.

The new arrivals are Australian defender Yianni Nicolaou, on loan from Salford City, Gareth Grant, an experienced utility player from Colwyn Bay, and young Chorley striker Rustam Stepans.

Yianni signed a one-year deal with EFL Two side Salford in August 2019 with the option to extend.

He has already had a temporary spell at BetVictor NPL Premier side Buxton earlier this season.

The 20 year old has played close to 30 matches for Marconi Stallions in the New South Wales National Premier League competition.

Yianni was a member of their NSW Waratah Cup-winning team.

He represented Australia at the Asian Football Confederation Under 16 Championships in 2016.

Gareth is a strong utility player who can operate in defence, midfield or attack.

The 29-year-old joins subject to international clearance.

He previously played for Runcorn Town, scoring 39 times in 124 appearances over five seasons.

Gareth's other former clubs include Atherton LR, Ashton Athletic and St Helens Town.

Rustam is a striker who has most recently been playing Under 21s football for National League Premier Division club Chorley.

He appeared as a sub for the Magpies in September's Lancashire FA Senior Cup tie against Preston North End.

Rustam was previously part of the youth set-ups at Southport and Marine.

In other news, the loan deal with National League North's Chester for Louis Hayes has been extended until end of the season.

EFL Two club Oldham Athletic have consented to Lewis McKinney's work experience loan continuing for another month.

Midfieldmen Lewis and Louis have been highly impressive in their respective stints with the Linnets thus far.

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