All eyes on Jen­nings in Town’s mixed week

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - Theguide -

RUN­CORN TOWN ...................................... 3 CONGLETON TOWN ................................. 1

RUN­CORN TOWN were in the na­tional sport­ing glare last Wed­nes­day when they played host to Congleton Town in the Hall­mark Se­cu­rity League Premier Di­vi­sion.

Jour­nal­ists from na­tional news­pa­pers, Foot­ball League club scouts and Sky Sports were all at the Viri­dor Com­mu­nity Sta­dium to see for­mer Tran­mere Rovers and Bay­ern Mu­nich player Dale Jen­nings back on the field in his quest to re­dis­cover the form that took him all the way to the Bun­desliga gi­ants.

Much credit for Jen­nings’s re­turn to the North West must go to Run­corn man­ager Chris Her­bert who put in a moun­tain of work to make it hap­pen.

The game started at a blis­ter­ing pace with Congleton look­ing dan­ger­ous mov­ing for­ward with ex-Run­corn player Emini Adeg­benro prom­i­nent in their at­tacks.

It took a su­perb save from Run­corn keeper Adam Reid who tipped a curl­ing shot over the an­gle of cross­bar and up­right to en­sure the score­line re­mained blank in the early ex­changes.

The vis­i­tors had started well and Run­corn were forced to work hard to counter the at­tacks. Adeg­benro ham­mered a 20-yard shot over the cross­bar fol­low­ing a good cen­tre from the left touch­line.

Run­corn slowly but surely be­gan to force the pace. A foul on Jen­nings brought a di­rect free-kick on the edge of the penalty area. How­ever, Craig Lind­field’s shot was still ris­ing as it cleared the Congleton cross­bar.

Run­corn kept press­ing, and a cen­tre from Matty Wa­ters was met with a fierce vol­ley by Harry Brazel that also went over the bar.

Shortly af­ter, a cross from Liam Turner was nod­ded goal­wards by Ryan Cox but the header took a de­flec­tion and out for a cor­ner. From the flag-kick, a Mar­cus James header was cleared off the goalline with Congleton goal­keeper Craig El­li­son beaten.

Congleton al­ways looked dan­ger­ous with their rapid breaks up­field and Reid made a cou­ple of ex­cel­lent saves to keep his team level.

Just af­ter the half-hour, Run­corn took the lead. From a Lind­field cross, Brazel sent a bul­let header into the Congleton net.

Lind­field then tried a spec­u­la­tive vol­ley that flew inches over the cross­bar as Run­corn looked to dou­ble their ad­van­tage be­fore the in­ter­val.

How­ever, just the one goal was the dif­fer­ence at the break.

Run­corn, how­ever, did go two goals to the good early in the se­cond pe­riod. A Paul McManus cross from the left touch­line was headed home by striker Cox, the ball tak­ing a de­flec­tion on its way into the net.

Within a few min­utes Cox had the ball in the net again but his ef­fort was dis­al­lowed for off­side.

Congleton cap­i­talised on this for­tune and pulled a goal back just be­fore the hour. The ball was pinged around the Run­corn goal­mouth be­fore Josh Ry­der was on hand to strike it home.

The game was now open with both sides go­ing for goals.

But it was Run­corn who in­creased their lead in the 70th minute. Si­mon ● Thel­well headed a Turner throw-in on to Lind­field who headed the ball into the roof of the net from out­side the six-yard box.

Thel­well was caus­ing prob­lems to the vis­i­tors’ de­fence and his cross to Lind­field brought a mis­cued shot that flew straight to goal­keeper El­li­son.

Congleton be­gan to force the pace and Run­corn did well to keep them at bay. Reid brought off a brave save at the feet of a Congleton striker who had bro­ken clear of the Run­corn de­fence.

With time al­most up, Stu­art McDon­ald brought a good save from El­li­son who pushed his shot at point-blank range out for an un­pro­duc­tive cor­ner. SILSDEN ...................................................... 0 RUN­CORN TOWN ...................................... 3 RUN­CORN TOWN built on their mid­week tri­umph over Congleton with three goals and three points at Silsden last Satur­day af­ter­noon.

The York­shire out­fit started the game well and it took Run­corn a lit­tle time to set­tle. Once they did, they were awarded a free-kick on the right touch­line. Matty Wa­ters curled the ball into the goal­mouth where Josh Kaine headed it safely out of play for a cor­ner. From the in­swing­ing flag-kick from Craig Lind­field, the ball was headed off the goalline by Silsden full-back Craig Ben­tham.

At the other end, a long-range shot from Kyle Han­cock was firmly held low down to his right by Town goal­keeper Adam Reid.

Run­corn looked to press, and a quick one-two between Dale Jen­ning and Paul McManus put the striker through on goal. How­ever, his shot de­flected off Silsden keeper Sa­muel Lee for a cor­ner, the No.1 do­ing well to dash off his line so quickly to block the shot.

An in­jury to Liam Turner forced Run­corn man­ager Chris Her­bert into an early sub­sti­tu­tion, Steve Wain­wright com­ing on at right-back.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to look threat­en­ing and when Harry Brazel found Shaun Weaver in space, he fired goal­wards, Lee sav­ing low down to his right.

Soon af­ter, a free-kick to Run­corn re­sulted in a su­perb ball from John Shaw that pre­sented Jen­nings with a free shot that Lee did re­ally well to hold at the foot of his up­right.

Some great play from Weaver then opened up the Silsden de­fence. Jen­nings took full ad­van­tage to slot the ball home. How­ever, a late flag from the as­sis­tant ruled the Run­corn man off­side. The of­fender, though, was by the touch­line and not in­volved in the play lead­ing up to the goal which should have been al­lowed to stand.

Still Run­corn pressed for­ward and Weaver was once again in­volved set­ting up Brazel but the mid­fielder’s pow­er­ful shot flew inches wide of the tar­get.

Hav­ing been un­der the prover­bial cosh for much of the open­ing pe­riod, Silsden fin­ished the half strongly.

A free kick-out on the touch­line from Han­cock was met with a pow­er­ful Ai­dan Kirby header that brought a su­perb div­ing save from Reid.

From the re­sult­ing cor­ner, Han­cock struck a fierce shot that brought an­other good save from Reid who was un­sighted in the crowded goal­mouth.

How­ever, the score­line re­mained blank at the break.

Reid was brought into early ac­tion in the se­cond half do­ing well to hold a low shot from Ar­ley Barnes.

Run­corn fi­nally made the break­through in the 52nd minute. Cox cre­ated the goal with a del­i­cate lob over the de­fence for Jen­nings to fire the ball goal­wards. Lee was quickly off his line and did well to block the first shot but Jen­nings, de­spite be­ing grounded, re­acted first to prod the loose ball home.

Not long af­ter, Run­corn were awarded an in­di­rect free-kick in­side the Silsden penalty area when keeper Lee picked up a back pass, just 10 yards from goal.

The Silsden de­fen­sive wall lined up on the goalline. Lind­field passed the ball to Jen­nings who had his shot cleared off the line by Reece Ken­dall who was well po­si­tioned on the far up­right.

Silsden al­ways looked dan­ger­ous when they went for­ward, their pace caus­ing prob­lems to the Run­corn de­fence. Han­cock brought an ex­cel­lent save out of Reid with a fierce vol­ley that the keeper held.

Run­corn full-back Wa­ters then cre­ated an open­ing for Weaver that re­sulted in a curled shot that was nar­rowly wide of the far post.

Si­mon Thel­well re­placed Jen­nings in the 64th minute and was in­volved in Run­corn’s se­cond goal just two min­utes later. Weaver clipped the ball in to the mid­dle where Thel­well headed on to Cox who chipped it over the keeper. The ball came back off the cross­bar for the striker fol­low­ing up to chest into the un­guarded net.

Silsden went close to re­duc­ing the ar­rears when a free-kick from Han­cock found Ken­dall in space but his header flew inches wide of the up­right.

McManus then did well to head the ball off his own goalline as Silsden con­tin­ued to press for­ward.

Mar­cus James and John Shaw stood firm dur­ing this pres­sure form­ing a for­mi­da­ble de­fence in front of the im­pres­sive Reid.

Eight min­utes from time, Run­corn con­firmed their vic­tory. When a shot from Lind­field was blocked, Shaw fol­low­ing up had his strike de­flected for a cor­ner. From the re­sult­ing flag-kick, the ball fell into the path of Brazel at the back post, the Run­corn play­maker blast­ing it into the roof of the Silsden net.

Late on, Brazel found Cox in space the Run­corn striker bring­ing an ex­cel­lent save out of Lee who held the ball with Thel­well wait­ing for it should the keeper spill it out of his grasp.

Silsden’s cen­tre-back Danny Illing­worth was sent off in stop­page time for a silly foul off the ball spot­ted by the as­sis­tant ref­eree. The de­fender had hardly left the pitch when the ref­eree blew his whis­tle to sig­nal full time. BOO­TLE ....................................................... 4 RUN­CORN TOWN ...................................... 2 A PAIR of own goals played their part as Run­corn Town fell to a 4-2 de­feat at Boo­tle on Tues­day evening.

Town raced into a two-goal lead at the TDP Solic­i­tors Sta­dium.

Ryan Cox struck the first on 13 min­utes, find­ing the Bucks’ net af­ter a shot from Shaun Weaver was blocked.

And just three min­utes later. Cox grabbed his se­cond, the striker net­ting af­ter be­ing played in by Si­mon Thel­well.

Seem­ingly in con­trol, Run­corn were rocked by an own goal on the half-hour fol­lowed by an ef­fort from Antony Hickey and one from Do­minic Marie giv­ing the hosts a 3-2 lead at the in­ter­val.

Town looked for a lev­eller in the se­cond half but the game went out of reach on 54 min­utes when a long in­tended back­pass from John Shaw went past keeper Adam Reid and into the net.

FJA Pho­tog­ra­phy/Paul Wat­son

Dale Jen­nings in ac­tion for Run­corn Town against Congleton Town last Wed­nes­day evening.

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