Runcorn Linnets 3
Colne 4

RUNCORN suffered a first league defeat since November, falling to Colne in a seven-goal thriller at the Millbank.

The match was an open affair straight from the off as chances fell immediately to both sides.

Colne’s Jason Hart rounded Linnets ’keeper Andy Robertson but putting too much on his last touch as the ball ran away.

Kyle Hamid then had a shot saved for Linnets before Mark Houghton fired over.

But the first goal came on just five minutes, Tom Berwick finding the net impressively from 30 yards to put the visitors ahead for his first of a decisive hat-trick.

Warren Bellew, Michael Duffy, Michael Burke and Antony Hickey all went close as Linnets responded.

But it was Colne who doubled their lead, Hart rounding Robertson again and this time finding the target from a narrow angle.

The Linnets got one back moments later when Adam wade shot through a crowded penalty area following a free kick.

However, Colne responded immediately, Berwick’s free kick curling free kick slipping through Robertson’s grasp and despite the assistant’s flag going up, the referee over-ruled.

Hamid thought he had headed Runcorn back to within one but in an ironic twist of fate, a long deliberation between referee and assistant saw the goal chalked off, with Hickey deemed offside, the Linnets forward receiving a yellow card for his protestations.

And after a needless foul Hickey was sent off as he received a second yellow, forcing Linnets to play the remainder of the match with ten.

However, after the break Runcorn pulled one back when Houghton scored a penalty.

And after Bellew hit the bar, Houghton’s header put Runcorn back on level terms at 3-3.

However, Colne finished the stronger and Berwick’s misfired shot from a cross lopped in over Robertson to deny ten-man Linnets a point.