MATCH REPORT | Runcorn Town 5-0 West – West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC

MATCH REPORT | Runcorn Town 5-0 West

Saturday 18th August 2018, NWCFL Premier Division

Runcorn Town 5 (Reed 21, 58, 83, Lewis pen 71, 85)
West 0
Att: 104

West slumped to a heavy defeat at Pavilions as their miserable start to the season continued.

A single Mark Reed goal separated the sides after an even first half, but West collapsed after Reed had added a second just before the hour and shipped five for the second time in four games.

The absences of Josh Tinker, Richmond Botchey and Jonathan Mason meant Steve Settle was forced into further defensive reshuffling with Rory Breslin filling in at right-back, and there was also a debut for Marcus Burgess in goal. It was a baptism of fire for Burgess but the England Universities keeper was blameless and kept the score down with a couple of fine saves.

Both sides struggled to find their rhythm on a difficult Pavilions surface – Town threatened sporadically from set-pieces, while West’s best moments in the early period came courtesy of Ashley Leather on the right wing. Burgess introduced himself with the first real save of the match – superbly diving low to his right to turn a header round the post – but his efforts were in vain as, seconds later, a ball in the box bounced up for Reed to hammer it into the net.

West looked to shrug off the blow of falling behind and began to carve out chances – Nicky Platt blazed over after a neat interchange with Saul Henderson, before Henderson passed up the visitors’ clearest sight of goal when he shot at Town keeper Adam Reid’s legs.

Town sounded a warning 13 seconds into the second half when Ste Lewis’s goal was disallowed for offside, but West continued to plug away without much in the way of end product. However, the game changed when Reid rounded Burgess to plunder his second of the game. From then on, West struggled to complete a pass and the home side looked like scoring every time they crossed the halfway line.

Lewis ended the match as a contest when he fired a penalty straight down the middle, before a pair of almost-identical goals added the gloss from the home side’s perspective. Reed took advantage of space in the six-yard box to convert a deep cross from the right, before Lewis repeated the trick from a delivery from the opposite side.

The home side spurned opportunities to score a sixth – a corner was headed wide at the far post, and Burgess denied Lewis a hat-trick of his own from close range in stoppage time. But five goals were enough to maintain Town’s position at the top of the embryonic league table, while West have more questions to answer ahead of next weekend’s Brookburn Road bank holiday double-header.

West: Burgess, Breslin (Brew-Butler 74), Stachini, Eckersley, Andrews, Roberts, Leather, Platt, Bailey, Henderson (Banasko 78), Dos Santos (Mohammed 74). Not used: Culkin.