LEAGUE leaders Runcorn Linnets blitzed Abbey Hey 7-1 to pick up a fifth consecutive win and give themselves a five-point lead at the top of the North-West Counties Premier Division.

With the match barely started, Runcorn got the goalscoring underway, Matt Atherton heading in Kev Towey’s cross.

Mike Tomlinson’s header then doubled the lead within the first five minutes as the dream start continued.

Linnets’ ascendancy continued through the half, Towey converting a spot-kick after a foul on mark Houghton for the third.

The visitors enjoyed a couple of rare chances chances at the other hand, before another headed goal, this time from Mike Burke who finished off Matt Cross’s delivery made it 4-0 at the break.

After the break Houghton immediately continued the scoring rampage to make it five. As Runcorn’s momentum was briefly halted, keeper Andy Robertson produced a wonderful save from an Abbey Hey free-kick from just outside the box.

Substitute Warren Bellew got Linnets’ sixth, after finishing off a deft passing move. Justin Pickering got one back for the beleaguered before Antony Hickey became the seventh different goalscorer, with a powerful header.

Runcorn Linnets: Andy Robertson, Michael Duffy, Martin Crowder, Mike Burke, Mike Tomlinson (C), Matt Cross, Michael Ellison, Mark Houghton, Antony Hickey, Kev Towey, Matt Atherton. Subs: Michael Simpson, Warren Bellew, Chros Lomax Attendance: 390