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08 Feb 2019 : Matt's the keeper of top January player award at Linnets

Runcorn Linnets' Player of the Month for January, sponsored by Bowland Brewery, is goalkeeper Matt Holmes.

When Matt lost his number one jersey to Dylan Forth last season, it would have been easy for a 'keeper of his quality to simply go and play his football elsewhere. But Matt has stayed loyal to the club, continued to work hard in training and waited patiently for his opportunity to come.

We played four games in January and Matt only featured in two of them, but his impact could not have been any bigger.

When Prescot Cables came to The Millbank Linnets Stadium, a penalty save from Matt midway through the first half helped Runcorn lead 2-0 at half-time, before an onslaught of attacks from Prescot drew from him a number of superb saves that ultimately meant the Linnets hanging on for three crucial points.

A week later, the Linnets made the trip to Leek Town, who were in fine form going into the game.

In a first half completely dominated by the home side, Matt was called upon time and again to make saves, clear his lines, deal with dangerous crosses etc.

Not long after the Linnets took the lead, he pulled off an absolutely magnificent save. A cross into the Linnets' box was accidentally sliced by Zac Aley towards the top corner of his own goal. But Matt flew across his goal and, at full stretch, tipped the ball wide of the far post.

The second half was a much more even affair but, playing in torrential rain, Matt was required several times to save again and hold on to stinging low shots which were skidding off the greasy surface with Leek players ready to pounce on any loose ball.

Matt's impact in the Prescot and Leek games was so telling that he won the Man of the Match votes for both games on the Linnets Updates Twitter account.

Having made such a telling impact, Matt thoroughly deserves the January award.

Picture: Matt, left, receives his Bowland Brewery Player of the Month award from club chairman, Mike Bignall.

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