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Runcorn Town come from behind to beat comfortably Witton Albion in a friendly
RUNCORN ran out comfortable – and merited – victors of a hastily-arranged friendly at Witton last night.
There will be a fleeting frustration for manager Simon Burton, whose players showed the ruthlessness in front of goal lacking when the two teams met in the Cheshire FA Senior Cup only a week earlier.
The hosts, who included new recruit Danny Meadowcroft from the start following his switch from Colwyn Bay, were brighter in the opening stages.
Steve Foster’s clipped shot, with the outside of his right boot, was turned to safety by goalkeeper Aaron Tyrer after Danny Andrews’ pass had split the defence.
Albion were stronger from then on, taking the lead seven minutes before the break through Anthony Gardner’s spot kick after the full back had been felled clumsily in the area.
Burton sent on only three players for the start of the second half that had started the first, with an almost instant dividend.
Substitute Paul Shanley skipped around Witton’s stand-in custodian Stuart Plant to score within two minutes of the restart, punishing a defensive mistake.
Former Winsford United forward Stuart Wellstead swerved a perfectly-placed second goal into the top corner soon afterwards to put Runcorn ahead.
They looked more likely to add to their lead than Witton to erode it, Wellstead turning provider for Mark Keddie to steer in an emphatic finish on 74 minutes.
Albion boss Brian Pritchard used attacker Adam Bettley, a regular in Witton’s reserves and neighbours Cuddington, for the final half hour for his senior debut.
Witton (4-4-2) Cooper (GK) (Plant GK, 29), Gardner (James 77), Ben Harrison (Moseley 87), Meadowcroft (Booth 46), Wood (Clayton 59), Jamie Harrison (Hancock 27), Shaw (Sheehan 27), James (Bettley 59), Andrews (Jamie Harrison 59), Foster, Moseley (Shaw 58). Goal Gardner 38 (penalty). Sub not used Glover.
Runcorn (First half) Tyrer (GK), Latham, Spearitt, Lawton, Bailey, Eyo, Dolan, Malone, Dixon, Whyte, McShane.
Runcorn (Second half) Tyrer (GK), Toone, Kinsey, Dalton, Lawton, Keddie, Burton, Dolan, Shanley, Wellstead, Grant. Goals Shanley 47, Wellstead 54, Keddie 74.
Referee Jon-Paul Kenny (Northwich).