MATCH REPORT | West 2-4 Runcorn Town
West were taught a lesson in clinical finishing by the league’s leaders Runcorn Town as they fell to a 4-2 defeat at Brookburn Road.
The day started well for West with a significant donation made by players and supporters to the Barrakah Food Bank Appeal and defender Anthony Potts presented with a tankard for his 200th West appearance.
West started brightly and Matty Kay’s first minute corner looked to have given West the lead when goalkeeper Metcalf carried it over the line only for the referee to blow for a foul against Harry Hagon.
The visitors responded with a good chance of their own when Aaron Ashley was called into action to save a Craig Cairns free kick down low to his left on 12 minutes. The warning wasn’t heeded and the visitors took the lead on 16 minutes when a rapid counter down the right found Mark Reed unmarked at the far post and he buried from close range to cap off a terrific move.
West responded as they moved the ball quickly down the left finding Tom Bailey in the penalty area; West’s leading goalscorer did superbly to roll his man before playing a low cross into the six yard box finding Carlos Mendes Gomes who was denied a goal by a barge in the back with the referee waving away any penalty appeals on 18 minutes.
West levelled on 30 minutes when Nic Evangelinos powered home a header from a Kay corner through the keepers flailing hands.
However it was the visitors who would head into the half ahead as a long punt caught out the eWest defence and Cairns raced through to slot under Ashley at the edge of the area.
Runcorn Town doubled their lead four minutes into the second half when West surrendered possession sloppily in their own third with Cairns racing into the penalty before his effort was blocked and Thelwell was able to steer it home into the net at the third attempt.
West hit back with an instant reply when a cross from the right was knocked down by Mendes Gomes into the path of Joe Shaw who drilled it into the bottom right hand corner from 18 yards out.
Runcorn restored their two goal lead on 61 minutes when Kev McGrath diverted a low cross beyond Ashley inside the near post.
From that moment, the final half hour of the game was disrupted by persistent ‘game management’ from the visitors whilst West tried find a way back into the game who were limited to long range efforts from Kay and Shaw as well as set pieces from Kay, Evangelinos and Bailey.
However the visitors hung on to register their eighth consecutive league victory.