Runcorn Linnets Ladies 5 Upton FC Women 1

RUNCORN Linnets Ladies have done it again!

They have maintained their impressive record in the Cheshire Women's League Challenge Cup by reaching their third final in fours years.

The only time they have been beaten in this competition was at the semi-final stage last season after an agonising penalty shoot-out.

Manager John Pickering gave his team the tactical run down on Upton and his players carried out the game plan to perfection.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

The conditions at kick off were an absolute nightmare - sun then dark cloud, hail back to sun, mixed up with a howling wind from right to left.

Linnets opened the scoring in the second minute when the Upton 'keeper fumbled Lile Ashley's corner into the net.

An Ellen Johnston rocket shot gave the keeper no chance on 17 minutes, doubling the Runcorn advantage, as Upton battled to defend against the elements.

Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz was next up, her shot cannoning back off a post before Ashley added the third on 28 minutes. Chelsea Gillies then drilled a shot low into the corner on 37 minutes to make it 4-0.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

Upton appealed for offside as Ashley completed her hat-trick on 39 minutes. After consultation with an assistant, the referee awarded the goal.

On the stroke of half-time, Ashley was a whisker away from another as her shot shaved the opposition post.

Runcorn knew that they would have to defend stubbornly in the second half up against a strong wind and Evans, Finnegan, Collins and Johnston did just that.

The Linnets were still creating chances but the wind took out any venom in the Runcorn shooting.

Upton were a more potent force now, as was to be expected, and they pulled a goal back on 69 minutes with a little help from the elements.

As the game entered the latter stages, Upton's discipline began to fold as in between hitting a post an Upton player received two yellow cards in the space of three minutes, reducing them to 10 players.

Runcorn's play had long suggested they'd decided they were in the final and were awaiting that final whistle.

Runcorn Linnets Ladies: Pickering, Johnston, Evans,(Graham 75). Collins, Finnegan, Wieland,(Rogers 66). Kennedy, Gillies, Jones-Sacharewicz,(Hughes-Woods 80). Subs: Barker (Rossiter-Gurrell 71), Ashley.