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28th July 2018, Runcorn Linnets FC v Widnes : 0-3 Sponsored by In memory of Nige Peterson

By Ste Bignall

Runcorn Linnets took on their fellow promoted Halton neighbours at the Millbank Linnets Stadium on Saturday in the Reusch Champions Cup, and once again fell to a strong Widnes side, who are developing a bit of a hex over the Linnets.

If you've never heard of this competition before it's understandable. It's a one-off cup final between the Hallmark Security League Premier Division champions (Runcorn Linnets) and the Macron Cup winners (Widnes ).

I wonder would happen if one club wins both competitions!?

There's a quirky tale with this cup as it's only been reinstated a year or two ago after a long period of absence (it wasn't played when we won the Macron Cup in 2013) because the cup itself became lost!

With his options heavily depleted due to holidays and injuries Michael Ellison started with three trialist players in his back four, and opted for an unfamiliar looking formation with Paul Shanley in a central midfield role.

The newly re-signed Kurt Sherlock also started the game but lasted less than 30 minutes before falling victim to a heavy tackle and limping off with an ankle injury.

From the off, it was clear that Widnes had not come to take part in a pre-season friendly.

They were more physical, aggressive and purposeful than the patched up hosts.

The first half was an attritional affair with very few chances for either side, the best of which came for Widnes when Ben Hodkinson drew a good save from Dylan Forth.

However, the second half was totally dominated by Widnes. who sensed that Linnets were probably more concerned with preventing more injuries to a ravaged squad than going all out to win the game.

And the Hallmark Security League runners-up moved in for the kill.

Two quickfire goal from George Lomax took the game away from the Linnets, whose makeshift defence was put under heavy pressure from the good movement of Widnes's attack.

Hodkinson, the stand out performer for the visitors, scored the goal his play deserved to seal victory and the cup for Kev Towey and Steve Akrigg's team.



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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