Runcorn Linnets 2 Hemsworth Miners Welfare 0

COMPETITIVE football made a long-awaited return to the Millbank Linnets Stadium on Saturday with an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie acting as the curtain raiser to a much-anticipated 2017-18 season.

Linnets’ first win against Hemsworth Miners Welfare in three attempts over six seasons at this stage of the competition sends Runcorn into league action at Abbey Hey on Saturday in positive style.

Michael Ellison blooded two of his new signings, James Moore at centre back and Terry Smith between the sticks having only signed for the club on Thursday night.

Linnets took the lead on 25 minutes when Danny McKenna’s throw near the corner flag found Kris Holt on the left wing to turn back on to his stronger right foot and send a delicious curling cross into the penalty area.

This was met perfectly by the on-rushing Linnets skipper Kyle Hamid to head Linnets into the lead.

Hemsworth were reduced to 10 men not long before half-time but the result was only put beyond doubt late on when Paul Shanley was allowed to bring the ball down at the far post and square a pass for Michael Simpson to slam home from eight yards out.

Linnets: Terry Smith, Danny McKenna, Aaron Morris, James Moore, Danny O’Brien, Michael Simpson, Kristian Holt, Kyle Hamid, Freddie Potter, Paul Shanley, Stuart Wellstead (Callum Lucy). Attendance: 324.