RUNCORN Linnets made it 10 Hallmark Security League Premier Division victories on the bounce on Saturday afternoon.

AFC Darwen were the latest side to succumb to the blistering Linnets attack, although the game itself was much tougher than the full-time 5-1 scoreline might suggest.

Linnets could have been a couple of goals up within the first five minutes.

Kris Holt and Freddie Potter both had goal-bound strikes brilliantly blocked by Darwen’s defence, and then Potter hit a post.

Despite the early dominance by the home side, Darwen took the lead.

A low cross into the penalty area picked out Luke Cassidy, who finished well past Terry Smith.

Danny O’Brien was booked for diving in the penalty area in what looked like a harsh decision by the referee, and another moment of gallant defending by Darwen denied Potter.

The visitors’ seal was finally broken with a deflected Kris Holt shot.

Eleven minutes later, Michael Ellison’s men took the lead.

Great work on the right flank by Antony Hickey picked out Paul Shanley on the edge of the 18-yard box and he delightfully swept home the ball with the instep.

Linnets took a firm grip in the second half.

On 53 minutes, Potter moved into some space on the left and his low cross into the six-yard box was converted by Mike Simpson.

With 10 minutes remaining, Holt added his second goal, finishing off after Darwen’s goalkeeper had saved but then spilled the initial shot from Shanley.

That was Runcorn’s 100th goal in all competitions this season.

Stuart Wellstead completed the scoring from six yards out and Mark Houghton made his 200th Linnets appearance off the bench.

Attention now turns to a rescheduled game this Friday night, kick off 7.45pm, as Linnets make the short trip to take on bottom-of-the-table Barnton, the fixture having been brought forward from Saturday afternoon.

Runcorn Linnets: Terry Smith, Louis Corrigan, Matthew Atherton, Aaron Morris, Danny O’Brien, Michael Simpson, Kristian Holt, Kieran Nolan, Freddie Potter, Paul Shanley, Antony Hickey. Subs: Mark Houghton, Stuart Wellstead, Mitch Bryant. Not used: Adam Jones, Jimmy Moore.

Attendance: 379.