Steeton AFC 4 v 0 Runcorn Town (NWCL First Division – North)
Having lost the first two and won the second two fixtures in October the Chrvrons were looking to make it three consecutive victories, as Roy Mason’s inform squad returned to NWCL First Division (North) action with the visit of Runcorn Town to Marley Stadium.
Roy Mason (Manager) made just one change from the side that won 5-1 at Darwen with Tobias Jeffrey replaced by Jordan Townend, whilst the latest signing left-back Nathan Tayo was unavailable for the match against Runcorn Town as it was his wedding day.
The visitors made two changes to the side that lost 4-0 to Irlam last weekend with Jack Fleming and James Galloway being promoted to the starting eleven, whilst Chad Whyte dropped to the bench and Keane Joyce was left out of this weeks match day squad by manager Matt Barnes.
Runcorn Town should have taken the lead on two minutes, when a long ball over the Steeton defence found Jack Coop at the edge of the home area. However, the visitors striker touch was poor and he could only get his studs on the ball which allowed the Steeton AFC goalkeeper Catlow to block the shot and then dive onto the ball.
Steeton AFC opened the scoring just two minutes later, once again it was a long ball over the top of the visitors defence to the right hand-side of the area. Andrew Briggs brought the ball under control before firing a shot from just inside the visitors area past Eastham into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to make it 1-0.
It was a frantic start to the match which showed on twelve minutes when there was a chance at either end of the pitch, first the visitors found Harry Hatton at the edge of the Steeton area but a last minute challenge from Anjum cleared the danger. Then a Steeton breakaway saw Andrew Briggs denied by Eastham in the visitors goal.
Steeton AFC then had two chances in two minutes to extend their lead, the first effort was the more difficult of the two chances as the ball fell to Josh Walne about twenty-five yards from goal on the right side of the area but his shot went wide of the left-hand post.
The second chance should have extended the home sides lead as the ball fell to Jordan Townend, but from five yards out and perhaps slightly off balance he rolled his shot wide of Eastham’s left-hand post to leave the score 1-0.
As the match reached the half-hour mark, the home side were now in control of the match and playing some good football going forward whilst at the back Daniel Warren and Omar Anjum were looking solid in defence.
On thirty-one minutes, a superbly timed tackle from a Runcorn defender Kevin Pollard denied Jack Lynn as it looked as though he was going to get on the scoresheet, the challenge also lead to some half hearted penalty claims that were waved away but the referee Ian Claridge. Just four minutes later a loose ball was collected by Townend who strides forward before testing the Eastham in the visitors goal, but the goalkeeper made an excellent save low down to his right.
Runcorn Town had the final effort of the half on forty-two minutes, when Jack Coop fired an effort on goal from distance which took a deflection. However, Catlow in the home goal made an excellent save as the home side went in at half-time with a lead 1-0.
Steeton AFC started the second-half just as strong as they finished the first-half, pushing the visitors back into their own box for the opening minutes of the half without creating an effort on the visitors goal. On forty-eight minutes, Foley Nkem was shown the yellow card for a foul on Harry Hatton which lead to the visitors winger receiving treatment, but the card was more for the number of fouls Nkem committed during the match.
On fifty-two minutes, the home side doubled their lead when some great work from Jack Lynn down the left-hand side found Andrew Briggs who held the ball up expertly before laying the ball off to Mo Subhani who fired the ball passed Eastham in the visitors goal to make the score 2-0.
Runcorn Town lost a couple of players due to injury after the hour mark which did effect their teams performance, the first player to depart on the hour was number eight Jack Iley who was helped off the pitch by the referee with an ankle injury. Just five minutes later they also lost centre-back Kevin Pollard with a knee injury both players were key to the visitors side.
On sixty-eight minutes, Jack Coop stung Catlow’s hands with another long range effort. Before the ball was back at the other end of pitch, a Steeton free-kick reached Andrew Briggs in the visitors area but his flicked header was saved by Connor Eastham.
Steeton AFC extended their lead on seventy-three minutes, as Daniel Warren set another fantastic ball over the top of the visitors defence which was brought down by Andrew Briggs inside the area before he fired a shot through the defenders legs and into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal to make it 3-0.
On eighty-one minutes, Steeton goalkeeper James Catlow caused confusion on the edge of the visitors area as a long goal kick bounced just inside the box and the defender and goalkeeper collided with the ball falling to Briggs, but just as he was about to tap the ball into an empty goal the referee blow the whistle and allowed both players receive treatment.
Andrew Briggs added a fourth goal in the final minutes of the match and at the same time completed his hat-trick for the second consecutive league match. As referee Ian Claridge played an excellent advantage and Mckiernon collected the ball before finding Briggs at the edge of the area and he slotted the ball past Eastham to make the full-time score 4-0.
Steeton AFC – Catlow, Walne, Lynn, Morgan, Anjum, Warren, Subhani, McKiernon, Townend, Briggs, Nkem (Subs) Sansgter, Humphries, Hobden, James
Runcorn Town – Eastham, Scott, Fleming, Galloway, Pollard, Kinsella, Perry, Iley, Coop, Hill, Hatton (Subs) Gately, Sultan, Whyte, Weston, Kattah
Goals – (Steeton AFC) Briggs (4, 73, 89) Subhani (51)
Attendance – 69