RUNCORN Linnets Ladies succumbed to a 4-1 loss on league leaders Wythenshaw Amateurs' artificial pitch after the Cheshire Women’s League game was switched from The Millbank Linnets Stadium due to a frozen pitch.

Lile Ashley had a shot tipped onto the bar after just nine seconds.

Runcorn, playing their first game since December 3, were dealt an early blow as the influential Becky Barker could take no further part due to injury. Her place was taken by Tish Collins, re-signed in the transfer window along with Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz.

Lucy Wieland tapped in a tantalising cross from Ashley to cut Linnets' arrears to 2-1 on 51 minutes.

A second Linnets goal at that stage could have made the outcome a different story.

Instead, Wythenshawe capitalised on a Linnets midfield mistake on the hour, restoring the two-goal cushion.

With the away side’s heads dropping, Wythenshawe scored a similar fourth eight minutes from time.

Mandy Kennedy was Linnets’ player of the match, closely followed by birthday girl Gabby Evans, back to her best after serious injury.

Runcorn Linnets Ladies: Pickering, Rossiter-Gurrell (Hyland 45), Finnegan, Barker (Collins 2) Evans, Wieland, Gillies, Kennedy, Carlson, Ashley (Isherwood 60) Isherwood (Jones-Sacharewicz 45).