match reporter Chris Sweetman
RYAN Baxter scored Newcastle Town’s first goal in three games as Runcorn Linnets secured a 2-1 win at Lyme Valley
Runcorn had the better of a very even first half, managing to break into the Newcastle area several times. However, Newcastle’s defence was resolute, with Runcorn denied any clear goalscoring opportunity. That quickly changed after the break, with Sean O’Mahony heading Runcorn into the lead on 56 minutes. Runcorn controlled the game from there and doubled their lead on 83 minutes as Eden Gumbs beat James Askey to score.
Newcastle did manage a late consolation as Baxter slid the ball under former Town keeper Owen Mooney. Newcastle continued to push, however, and their reward was when substitute Ryan Baxter slid the ball under Runcorn keeper Owen Mooney. Unfortunately, it was too little too late as Runcorn saw out the final minutes to secure all the points.
Newcastle began the game strongly, with Chris Smith’s early shot forcing a good save from Owen Mooney. However, the early exchanges lacked rhythm, with plenty of throw-ins for both sides, before Runcorn produced their first attempt, but Brooke’s header was straight at Joe Slinn. While Newcastle continued to struggle to keep possession and rhythm, Runcorn grew into the half and began to dominate possession and territory. However, despite Runcorn winger Iwan Murray proving dangerous, Newcastle were able to prevent any clear cut chances.
As the first half came to a close, Newcastle began to carve out some attacking opportunities, with Will Lloyd forcing another save with the last play of the half.
Runcorn came out of the blocks quickly in the second half, and saw an early shot blazed over the bar. Newcastle could not find a way to relive the Runcorn pressure, and eventually O’Mahony was on hand to head home from a cross from their right wing.
After the goal, Newcastle saw more of the possession and territory, but struggled to string their passes together. In contrast, Runcorn continued to look dangerous going forward, with Murray in particular proving a handful. Eventually, Runcorn’s sharpness began to tell, and another cross from their right wing saw substitute Gumbs head home on 83 minutes.
That goal finally seemed to galvanise Newcastle, and when their passes finally started to stick, substitute Baxter was on hand provide the late consolation.
Baxter’s goal was Newcastle’s first goal since the 2-2 draw with Glossop in March, and seemed to briefly threaten a comeback, but Runcorn held on to secure the three points.
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Match Report from Chris Sweetman
Pictures courtesy of Andy Blakeley