Run­corn spot-on in nor­mal time and in shootout to ad­vance in cup

Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - - In Business -

Hyde United 1 Run­corn Lin­nets 1 [Lin­nets win 4-1 on pens] RUN­CORN LIN­NETS se­cured a place in the Evo-Stik League’s In­te­gro Cup quar­ter-fi­nals with an­other shock vic­tory.

The West Di­vi­sion lead­ers, en­joy­ing their de­but in the com­pe­ti­tion came from a goal down to stun Pre­mier Di­vi­sion hosts Hyde United at Ewen Fields on Tues­day night.

As in their first round home de­feat of an­other top-flight out­fit War­ring­ton Town, Lin­nets held their nerve un­der the pres­sure of a penalty shootout to go through.

Lin­nets this time scored all four penal­ties taken while Hyde, hav­ing lost ap­par­ent con­trol of the tie in its fi­nal quar­ter, saw two at­tempts saved by Tom Scott, Run­corn’s new goal­keeper signed from Ken­dal Town.

With fel­low keep­ers Matt Holmes and Dy­lan Forth on the bench and watch­ing from the side­lines re­spec­tively, it was a de­but Scott will re­mem­ber with rel­ish – although he had con­ceded the penalty, which Hyde duly con­verted for an in­ter­val lead.

All the scor­ing, even be­fore the shootout, came from penal­ties, with Louis Cor­ri­gan dis­patch­ing an equaliser from 12 yards af­ter 74 min­utes.

The kick had been set up by a ma­raud­ing run by Aaron Mor­ris who rode a foul in mid­field, for which the per­pe­tra­tor was booked af­ter an ad­van­tage played by the ref­eree, to make his way into the box, only to be clum­sily bun­dled over. Cor­ri­gan did the rest to bring Run­corn right back into the con­test.

Run­corn, draw­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence of their ear­lier suc­cess­ful penalty se­quence against War­ring­ton, did not need to call on Cor­ri­gan’s ex­per­tise in the de­ci­sive ex­change. From the mo­ment Danny O’Brien, an­other of Lin­nets’ penalty spe­cial­ists, safely fired home the first of their five sched­uled spot­kicks, the vis­i­tors looked supremely con­fi­dent. Aaron Mor­ris, Fred­die Pot­ter and Bobby Evans were were also un­err­ingly ac­cu­rate.

Scott’s saves from Hyde’s sec­ond and third penal­ties meant that the shootout was set­tled early.

Lin­nets man­ager Michael El­li­son made sev­eral changes from the side which had won at Rams­bot­tom on Satur­day.

De­fender Jack Hin­ni­gan part­nered the club’s Bow­land Brew­ery Player of the Month Mor­ris in cen­tral de­fence while Josh Do­bie came into mid­field for only his third Lin­nets start­ing ap­pear­ance.

Striker Stu­art Well­stead again re­turned to the ranks fol­low­ing his sur­prise out­ing in the pre­vi­ous round of this tour­na­ment at Leek Town.

Cap­tain Kyle Hamid re­sumed in the cen­tre of the park af­ter a one-game sus­pen­sion. Winger Paul Shan­ley, hav­ing worn the arm­band at the week­end, was named among the sub­sti­tutes along with top scorer Pot­ter and Ron­nie McCarthy while McCarthy’s mid­field col­league Kris Holt and de­fender Peter Wylie were other no­table ab­sen­tees.

Scott’s first task as a Run­corn player was to paw an early Hyde ef­fort onto his cross­bar. Run­corn promptly went close at the other end through a com­bi­na­tion of head­ers by Mor­ris and Do­bie at a set-piece.

Lin­nets had started brightly enough but as a first half of few clear chances wore on, Hyde held firm ter­ri­to­rial ad­van­tage.

A lapse in con­cen­tra­tion in de­fence ul­ti­mately led to Scott down­ing an op­po­nent for Con­nor Simp­son’s suc­cess­ful 33rd-minute penalty.

Run­corn were again ini­tially penned in af­ter the break but re­sisted the Hyde pres­sure with­out too many alarms.

The in­tro­duc­tions of Pot­ter and lo­cal lad Ryan Gib­son, newly re­cruited from Helsby FC, pro­vided fresh im­pe­tus and sud­denly Hyde looked sus­cep­ti­ble to the vis­i­tors’ grow­ing in­flu­ence.

Pot­ter set up Gib­son on his de­but for a shot which was well saved by the div­ing James Hodges.

Then, a de­fence-split­ting Cor­ri­gan pass sent Pot­ter clean through only for Hodges to again deny Lin­nets, this time by block­ing a one-on-one chance.

All the more credit goes, there­fore, to Pot­ter for stand­ing up to be counted dur­ing the penal­ties and in­deed to the en­tire Lin­nets team for their over­all re­solve over the whole tie.

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