RUNCORN Linnets Ladies reached the quarter-finals of the Cheshire Women’s League Challenge Cup after a 9-1 win at depleted Crosfield FC Women.

The home side, with only nine available players, played their hearts out to the final whistle of an entertaining game.

Demi Lee Rogers, originally down to start for Runcorn, had withdrawn through illness shortly before Sunday’s kick off.

But, as was only to be expected with the two-player Linnets advantage, the majority of the first half action was centred around the Crosfield goal.

The Linnets should have been 3-0 up in the first seven minutes when Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz struck the bar.

The gallant - and at times courageous - Crosfield team withstood everything Runcorn could throw at them, defending four corners in succession.

The Linnets, like the proverbial ring-rusty boxer after a long absence, continued to create and miss until being denied by what can only be described as a world class save to keep out Ellie Isherwood’s effort on 26 minutes.

The breakthrough came on 31 minutes when Chelsea Gillies fed Becky Barker in the box and Barker made no mistake with her shot.

On 40 minutes, Barker returned the favour as Gillies ghosted in to make it two.

Sixty seconds later, a through ball saw Jones-Sacharewicz add a third for Linnets; then a static Crosfield defence allowed the same player to chase a ball unopposed and, from the tightest of angles, clip home number four.

Megan Pickering had to be alert just before the interval, clawing away the ball from under her crossbar.

Linnets manager John Pickering made multiple substitutions at half-time.

After three successive corners, Ashley supplied Barker with a pass to make it five.

Ashley herself lashed in the sixth from the second of two more corner kicks.

On 62 minutes, Gillies added to her tally with the seventh - a shot from inside the penalty box.

Ellen Johnston, Hannah Collins and Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz were all reintroduced.

It wasn`t long before Lucy Wieland fed Jones-Sacharewicz for goal number eight.

By now, the stubborn Crosfield side had been reduced to eight players through injury but this did not stop them sending six players forward for a corner on 79 minutes. Their adventure was rewarded with a consolation goal.

But, on 87 minutes, Jones-Sacharewicz was left to run free at the home goal and made no mistake with her fourth

Runcorn Linnets Ladies: Pickering, Johnston (Rossiter-Gurrell 45), Collins (Walton 45), Finnegan (Collins 66), Evans (Graham 45), Isherwood (Johnston 66), Kennedy, Gillies (Evans 79), Wieland, Barker (Jones-Sacharewicz 66), Jones Sacharewicz (Ashley 45).