Report by Garry Clarke

DESPITE being held to a 1-1 draw at Townfield by Runcorn Town, 1874 Northwich extended their lead at the top of the NWCFL Premier Division table.

Whilst 1874 were dropping points for the first time since November, results elsewhere meant they ended the day seven points clear.

Playing up the slope, 1874 started well with Harry Cain particularly lively, although his afternoon ended after twenty minutes when he as the victim of a late challenge which earned Runcorn captain Shaun Weaver a yellow card.

By the time Cain was forced out of the game, 1874 found themselves a goal down.

Warren Bellew picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and drilled it past Tony Aghayere from 18 yards.

Runcorn goalkeeper Adam Reid twice came to his side’s rescue with good saves around the half-hour mark.

Firstly, he reacted superbly to palm away a Jake Parker shot from close range before keeping out Scott McGowan’s penalty after the Northwich striker had been tripped from behind by Joe Holt.

The scores were levelled two minutes after the half time break – Runcorn struggled to clear a corner and the ball fell to Parker, who smashed it into the net from close range.

1874 enjoyed the majority of possession in the second half but struggled to break down their hard-working opponents, although Parker went close minutes from the end but his shot from outside the area went just wide of the post.

Runcorn were reduced to ten men in stoppage time when Holt, who had been booked in the first half when giving away the penalty, received a second yellow for a crude tackle but his colleagues managed to see out the final few minutes.

1874: Aghayere, Hind, Russell, Jackson, Jones, Parker, Gardner (Koral), Woolley, McGowan, Hare (Weir), Cain (Knight). Subs not used: Tinning, Wellstead

Runcorn: Reid, Turner, Dursley, Thelwall, James, Holt, Byrnes (Cairns), Weaver, Forbes (McGiven), Holsgrove, Bellew (Rowlands). Subs not used: Haslam, Rocburgh