MANAGER Carl Macauley decided to experiment with Witton Albion’s line-up for a first pre-season friendly at Runcorn Linnets, fielding a different team in each half.

They found the going tough though against a strong opponents, and trailed 3-0 at the interval after Zac Aley had added a smartly-taken goal to a trialist’s brace earlier on.

Rob Hopley netted twice for the visitors in the second half, either side of an opportunistic strike by Stuart Wellstead, as the home team ran out 4-2 victors.

The Witton front man applied a finishing touch to Anthony Gardner’s cross shortly after the restart before later nudging a loose ball over the line after it had rebounded off an upright.

1874 Northwich played out another goal-laden warm-up game, emerging as 5-3 winners at the end of an entertaining encounter with Knutsford.

Ebbie Rezayan was first to a rebound as the Cheshire League side edged in front, only for replies from Adam Whitlock and Joe Woolley to make it 2-1.

Jake Maunder’s shot from distance restored parity before new recruit Kazim Waite-Jackson fired the visitors ahead.

Steve Jenyons then put through his own goal before Scott McGowan made it 5-2.

David Owens converted a penalty for Knutsford to complete the scoring.

Northwich Victoria registered a first victory of the summer when Brian Matthews scored a goal in each half against Skelmersdale.

He steered in a penalty after Stuart McDonald was tripped, then doubled the lead for Paul Moore’s men at the start of the second half after charging down an attempted clearance by the visitors’ goalkeeper.

Winsford United played out a 1-1 draw with Alsager.

Callam Gardner’s curling strike from distance put Blues into an interval lead, only for a trialist to restore parity for the Bullets in the second half.

Elsewhere Middlewich Town edged out Congleton Vale by the odd goal in five, while Lostock Gralam scored six goals without reply against Winnington Avenue 1994.

James Dean netted four of the Grey Lambs’ goals, while Ellis Hackett contributed a double.