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First Team - Match centre

Runcorn Linnets
Full time
K Sherlock (62')
Wed 26 Dec 15:00 - The Evo-Stik League - West Division Attendance 259

REPORT | Widnes 0-1 Runcorn Linnets


Sherlock strike sinks Widnes

Widnes were defeated by a single Kurt Sherlock strike as Runcorn Linnets ran-out narrow 1-0 Halton Derby winners on Boxing Day.

Sherlock’s goal shortly after the hour-mark ensured a first ‘El-Clasitoll’ victory for Michael Ellison’s Linnets who have finally beaten Widnes at the fourth time of asking.

The Whites had chances, notably in the first-half through joint-manager Kev Towey and George Lomax, but they were ultimately beaten at Barnton’s Offside Trust Stadium.

Towey was amongst four Widnes changes from the side that lost at Radcliffe, replacing Dale Korie-Butler who dropped to the bench. Elsewhere, Sam Sheen, Danny Ventre and Chris Lomax were all recalled.

Widnes had never lost to Runcorn heading into the contest, winning both league contests last season and this season’s curtain-raiser in the North West Counties Champions Cup.

It was also the first Derby between the two sides to be played outside the Borough, as Widnes continue to await a return home to the Halton Stadium as delays continue with the stadium’s newly re-laid artificial surface.

Lomax started at the tip of a Widnes three-man midfield, with strikers Ben Hodkinson and George Lomax supporting the central Towey from the flanks as the Whites looked to attack a Runcorn side beaten 4-0 at home by Droylsden last time out.

However, it was Linnets who were first to threaten but the impressive Joe Herbert threw himself in the way of Freddie Potter’s shot on goal.

There was little between the sides in the early exchanges, with Chris Lomax firing off target for Widnes before Paul Shanley hit one wide for Linnets who were seeing more of the ball.

Linnets were beginning to assert themselves midway through the half with Potter fizzing a dangerous cross across goal while Zac Aley was a hair’s breadth from connecting with another from Shanley.

Widnes still carried a threat of their own, and they were denied an opener by the woodwork as George Lomax latched on to a threaded Sheen pass that opened up the Runcorn rearguard. Dylan Forth raced from his goal but was beaten by Lomax’s lob that agonisingly bounced back off the foot of the post and into the goalkeeper’s grateful gloves.

Ex-Linnet Towey then wasted a glorious opportunity just before half-time, wildly volleying over the bar from close-range after a clever dinked ball from Lomax. The Widnes co-boss’ frustration was obvious as he kicked out at the goal post knowing that his side would be hard-pressed to create a better chance.

There was still time before the interval for Owen Wheeler to get himself into a spot of bother when attempting to clear a loose ball which didn’t break kindly for the Linnets pair of Potter or Sherlock with Jay Roberts hooking away the danger.

Into the second half and as thick mist began to roll in over the Offside Trust Stadium, Widnes became camped inside the own half down the slope at Townfield Lane.

Potter was to test Wheeler with a powerful effort early in the half but the Widnes keeper produced a strong save to push the shot away from goal.

Runcorn then had a shout for a penalty turned down by an unimpressed referee Darren Rogers as Ellison’s men enjoyed their best spell of the contest.

And their strong pressure eventually paid off as the visitors broke the deadlock on the 62-minute mark.

The ever-dangerous Shanley fed the over-lapping Matty Russell down the right-flank who provided a cross towards the back-post with Sherlock ghosting in to turn home from close-range to draw first-blood for Linnets.

Runcorn almost doubled their advantage three minutes later but Potter could only fire straight at Wheeler who got down quickly to make a good block.

Widnes made all three changes in an attempt to get back into the contest, and despite a period of sustained pressure, the Whites never really penetrated a stubborn Linnets backline and test keeper Forth.

A dangerous Roberts narrowly evaded substitute Rob Bourne before Widnes had a somewhat half-hearted penalty appeal waved away by Rogers.

Sherlock was denied a second late on by Wheeler as Widnes continued to commit bodies forward, but the impressive pair of Aaron Morris and Peter Wylie kept the hosts at bay to secure a first-ever Halton Derby triumph for Linnets.

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Kev Towey

Player of the Match

Kev Towey

Key moments

Goal Kurt Sherlock scores for Runcorn Linnets


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90:00 Player of the Match
Kev Towey is awarded player of the match for Widnes
78:00 Sub On
Robert Bourne is substituted on for Widnes
78:00 Sub Off
Danny Ventre is substituted off for Widnes
75:00 Sub On
Alfons Fosu-Mensah is substituted on for Widnes
75:00 Sub Off
Kev Towey is substituted off for Widnes
73:00 Yellow Card
Sam Sheen is yellow carded for Widnes
66:00 Sub Off
Ben Hodkinson is substituted off for Widnes
66:00 Sub On
Dale Korie-Butler is substituted on for Widnes
62:00 Goal 0 - 1
Kurt Sherlock scores for Runcorn Linnets
46:00 Kickoff
Runcorn Linnets kick off
End of period 1
1:00 Kickoff
Widnes kick off
Start of the game
Replay game

As it happened

  • Widnes
  • Runcorn Linnets
  • 0
  • Kurt Sherlock Goal 62:00'
  • Ben Hodkinson Sub Off 66:00'
  • Dale Korie-Butler Sub On 66:00'
  • Sam Sheen Yellow Card 73:00'
  • Kev Towey Sub Off 75:00'
  • Alfons Fosu-Mensah Sub On 75:00'
  • Danny Ventre Sub Off 78:00'
  • Robert Bourne Sub On 78:00'

Team selection

Wheeler, Owen Wheeler, Owen
Roberts, Jay Roberts, Jay
Johnstone, Bram Johnstone, Bram
Herbert, Joe Herbert, Joe
Akrigg, Steve Akrigg, Steve
Lomax, George Lomax, George
Hodkinson, Ben Hodkinson, Ben
Sheen, Sam Sheen, Sam
Ventre, Danny Ventre, Danny
Lomax, Chris Lomax, Chris
Towey, Kev Towey, Kev
Runcorn Linnets
  • 1. Dylan Forth
  • 2. Louis Corrigan
  • 3. Aaron Morris
  • 4. Peter Wylie
  • 5. Matty Russell
  • 6. Ronnie McCarthy
  • 7. Kurt Sherlock
  • 8. Kyle Hamid
  • 9. Freddie Potter
  • 10. Paul Shanley
  • 11. Zac Aley
  • 12. Joshua Dobie
  • 13. Ryan Gibson
  • 14. Michael Simpson
  • 15. Robert Evans
  • 16. Daniel O'Brien

League round up

Other West Division results

Colwyn Bay
Kendal Town
Ramsbottom United
Atherton Collieries

League table

# Team Pl Pts
10. Kidsgrove Athletic 38 58
11. Colwyn Bay 38 52
12. Widnes 38 51
13. Chasetown 38 46
14. Droylsden 38 43
15. Newcastle Town 38 40
16. Market Drayton Town 38 40

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