Wigan Robin Park 1 Runcorn Town 5

It was a dull grey day in Wigan for this premier league fixture, the ground as usual looked splendid surrounded by crowds of Christmas shoppers at the massive Robin Park retail park.

Inside the stadium a Christmas Fayre was set along the indoor athletics sprint track, it sounded very festive Altogether it presented a superb advert for Wigan Borough Council in the local Community.

Town started the match brightly and when Kinsey fed the ball through to Shanley he unselfishly passed to James McShane who delayed his shot, the chance had gone. Both players guilty of not taking an early shot at goal.

Grant did try his luck and from near the touchline struck a powerful that hit the angle of post and crossbar.

Town were on top and a cross from Kinsey was headed on by Grant to Haughton who was quickly closed down.

Little had been seen of Wigan but when they did attack Spearritt did well to head away a long throw in.

Dean Midgeley put Wigan ahead 8th min, a mix up between Wills and Dalton resulted in the central defender heading the ball up in the air as Wills came out to collect, the centre forward heading the ball into the empty net.

Wigan were now on the front foot, the goal giving them confidence,when Dalton conceded a free kick on the edge of Town’s penalty area, Neil played the ball quickly to Gately who hit his shot across Wills but beyond the far post.

A good run by Shanley resulted in a cross that eluded everyone before being turned for corner, from the resultant corner Shanley fired in a shot that flew just over the crossbar.

Wigan still looked dangerous and a cross by Newbold found Midgeley but his header lacked power and was easily dealt with by Wills. Town then produced a superb piece of football, Dalton brought the ball out of defence found Shanley who created space for Haughton to hit a perfect shot that brought a superb save from Wigan keeper Lever going full length to finger tip the ball for a corner. From the corner a downwards header from Dalton brought another classy save from the Wigan keeper.

A long clearance by the now overworked Lever found Newbold deep in the Runcorn half of the pitch, the striker wasted no time and fired a fierce volley straight at Wills.

Town equalised in the 25th min., Haughton coming in from the left laid the ball back into the path of Town Captain Mark Keddie who smashed it into the net from fully 25yds before Lever could move.

The goal was just what Town needed, it settled them down and had the opposite effect on the Wigan team.

A direct free kick by Haughton brought another good save from Lever, who pushed the ball for a corner, from the short corner Haughton cut inside and unleashed a shot that Lever again saved at full length.

The keeper was powerless to stop Paul Shanley putting Town ahead in the 37th min., the striker picked the ball up just inside the Wigan half and ran at a backpeddling defence, he then hit a superb shot with the outside of his boot that flew past Lever from 20yds.

Nicky Haughton increased Town’s lead in the 39th min., once again cutting inside before hitting the ball across Lever and into the bottom corner of the net. The ball struck a wheel on the inside of the goalpost, rebounded back onto Lever before entering the net but the goal was quite rightly awarded to Haughton.

Runcorn almost got anther goal in time added on, Shanley hitting a goalbound volley that struck Keddie, the ball fell nicely for Grant but his shot was cleared by Young.

HALF TIME: WIGAN RP 1-3 RUNCORN TOWN Town started the 2nd half where they finished the 1st , from a good passing move involving 7 players Shanley shot across the goal. Kinsey then saw his shot strike a defender and the ball roll through to Lever.

A great pass by Shanley put Haughton through but his shot flew straight at Lever.

Burton then played Grant in but the keeper stuck out a foot deflecting the ball wide.

Haughton created an opening but then shot over the bar.

Wigan were now being penned back into there own half but a break by Hatton from deep in defence opened up the Town rear guard before Spearritt stepped in and Kinsey blocked a shot before clearing the danger.

A foul by Edgar on Haughton presented Town with a free kick that Keddie blasted inched wide of the upright.

A piece of brilliant play by Haughton ended when his shot hit the bottom of the post.

From a Wigan free kick Neil centred for Midgeley to head straight at Wills from 6yds.

Gareth Grant got a 4th goal in the 63rd min., McShane and Haughton creating the opening for him.

Town were in full control of the game but Wigan kept looking for a goal Gately’s long range shot clearing the bar.

Potters cross was well held by Lever under his crossbar as Carey closed in for any loose ball.

McShane unselfishly passed to Haughton but Lever produced a fine save to deny the youngster.

A foul on Lester presented Jason McShane with a free kick but Lever tipped his direct shot over the crossbar.

A cross by McShane was headed goalwards by Carey but Lever went full length to save a certain goal.

When Carey returned the compliment to McShane a minute later once again Lever thwarted the attack.

Lever was unable to stop Jason Carey getting a deserved goal in added on time, the striker meeting Haughton’s cross at the back post to side foot the ball home.

The only concern facing the Town managers is the ratio of goals to goal chances. The second half performance today was in particular impressive, the possession Town worked for and enjoyed said a lot for their overall fitness.

 TEAMS: Wigan Robin Park: 1 Lever, 2 Hynes [c], 3 Green, 4 Young, 5 Morris, 6 Hatton, 7 Newbold, 8 Edgar, 9 Midgeley, 10 Neil, 11 Gately.

Subs used: 14 O’Keefe, 15 Rafferty. Not used: 12 Begley, 16 Bowes-Broadfoot.

Runcorn Town: 1 Wills, 2 Lester, 3 Kinsey, 4 Burton, 5 Dalton, 6 Spearritt, 7 Shanley, 8 Keddie [c], 9 Grant, 10 James McShane, 11 Haughton.

Subs used: 12 Carey, 14 Potter, 15 Jason McShane. Not used: 16 Duckworth, 17 Salt.

Referee: Ian Hurdle. Assistant Referees: Karl Buckley, Peter Gibson. Attendance 63

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