Report: Runcorn Linnets 3-4 Warrington Town Women

Warrington Town Women bounced back from last weekend’s FA Cup defeat with a 4-3 victory away at Runcorn Linnets.

The Yellows looked to redeem themselves as they turned their attention back to the league on Sunday after previously suffering a 4-1 defeat in the FA Cup against Chester.

They travelled to Runcorn to look to steal some points against the 3rd-place Linnets who themselves had just triumphed against Northwich with a 6-0 win.

The Linnets got us underway at the APEC Taxis Stadium and within six minutes, Town were off to a threatening start after a quick throw-in from Nicola Chatterley gave Ellie Anderson possession in the box but she was swarmed by green and yellow and couldn’t get her shot to reach Linnets goalie Claudia Basnett.

Warrington capitalised on their fantastic start nine minutes in, scoring their first of the afternoon through Kerry Baker, who was fouled outside the box on a counterattack.

Baker made her first start for the Yellows on Sunday after previously joining us and starting on the bench in the FA Cup two weeks ago; she took her own free-kick and it was a brilliant finish that travelled over the wall and curved off of the post and into the net.

The Yellows doubled their lead just a few minutes later with a beautiful passing play on the edge of the box – Lily Parsons passed the ball to Rachel Dickenson who played a lovely through ball to Ellie Anderson and Ellie made no mistake with the finish as she buried it past Basnett for her first goal of the season.

Town extended their lead even further on the quarter mark when Lily Parson’s quick throw-in found Ella Rigby in the box who controlled the ball well amidst pressure from the Linnets ‘keeper, neatly finishing into an open net – the Runcorn players, staff and supporters were well and truly silenced as they had conceded 3 goals in just 15 minutes.

Needing a response, Linnets brought on the league’s top goalscorer Mollie Bennett who made an almost instant impact when she hit the bar after 22 minutes.

A few minutes later, the hosts got one back as Mollie Bennett drove into the box and fired it past Chloe Green.

Runcorn reduced the deficit even more in the 33rd minute as Bennett whipped a cross in from the right wing into Gibbons whose impressive finish beat the Yellows goalkeeper.

Green later prevented the equaliser in the 41st minute, making an excellent save to keep out a powerful shot from Mollie Bennett inside the box.

Photo credit: Sean Walsh

The referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the half and manager Kevin Larkin complimented the girls on such an impressive start and encouraged them to do the same again. No substitutions were made and the second half started again soon after.

Both teams started strong after the previous break but no big chances came.

In the 65th minute, Larkin made his first sub as he brought on Holly Lloyd to replace Ella Rigby. In the same minute, a good chance came for the Yellows as Ellie Anderson fired the ball at Basnett who made a decent save; the rebound fell right in front of Kerry Baker but a Linnets defender was on hand to clear away the danger.

Bennett continued to threaten the Yellows after hitting the crossbar again but Town’s defence did a good job of containing the Linnets star player, particularly Emily Savage, Gia Portelli and Danielle Burns who would constantly put Bennett under pressure to force an off-target shot.

With 10 minutes of regular time to be played, Chloe Green made another good save as Mollie Bennett hit the ball towards the corner of the net – the shot wasn’t as powerful as it needed to be thanks to Savage who battled with Bennett to block a potential shot or put her off.

Larkin made his second substitution of the game in the 84th minute as he replaced Ellie Anderson with Carla Burton.

This small break in play gave the Yellows’ forwards a bit of a breather which aided in their next attack; in the 85th minute, they had possession outside the box and Dickenson got her second assist of the game as she played the ball to Kerry Baker who, with an exquisite finish, chipped the ball over Basnett to give us another two-goal lead and her second goal in a Warrington Town shirt.

A couple of minutes later, Larkin made his final substitution as Liv Adams came on to relieve Danielle Burns.

We were entering the final few minutes of the game and despite the Linnets being down by two, they didn’t give up and their resilience was rewarded with a third goal in the 90th minute.

Stoppage time came and on the brink of the final whistle, Runcorn got a free kick 25 yards outside the box as Lily Parsons fouled a Linnet. Mollie Bennett took the free kick and it was a dangerous-looking shot from the sideline but it fell right to Green who comfortably caught the ball and killed the game.

The Yellows players put in strong performances across the board, particularly the forwards and Chloe Green who stepped up and didn’t play in her natural position, earned the win for the Yellows and it meant so much to the women; finally, after weeks and weeks of hard performances, they were rewarded with a good result.

It was an enduring fightback from the Linnets but all three points headed back to Warrington after a 4-3 win for the Town.

The Yellows now sit in 9th place with 9 points from 8 games and will look to bag another win next week as they travel to face Ellesmere Port who currently occupy the 8th spot in the table.

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