RUNCORN Linnets Ladies twice had to hit back from behind before comfortably disposing of Upton 7-4 in their delayed Cheshire FA Women's Cup first-round tie.

On a heavy Lingham Park pitch, Linnets looked a little lacklustre initially - not surprising after a five-week lay-off.

A comedy of defensive allowed Upton to take a fifth-minute lead. Runcorn responded with a chance of their own on eight minutes.

But the shot was straight at the home 'keeper.

The equaliser wasn't too long in coming.

Three minutes later, Lile Ashley broke free down the right to put in a superb cross to the feet of Marcia Jones-Sacharewicz.

Failure to close the play down following an Upton corner in the 13th minute led to home side regaining the advantage in an end-to-end game.

But you sensed the Linnets were now slowly beginning to shrug off the ill effects of their lay-off.

Ashley escaped her marker to slot home the equaliser.

Upton were still threatening, forcing a couple of corners, before Jones-Sacharewicz added her second after half an hour, pouncing on the rebound after initially being foiled by the 'keeper.

Two minutes later, the striker completed her hat trick, scoring a 13th of the season, to give the Linnets a two-goal breathing space at the break.

A further effort from Ashley went just past a post while Jones-Sacharewicz struck the crossbar with a further attempt as Linnets showed their intent at the beginning of the second half.

The home side were however still dangerous, Megan Pickering having to make a superb save as a shot came through a crowd of players, low her left.

Ashley found the space to score her second (and the Linnets' fifth) on 56 minutes before the Linnets were denied again by the crossbar, Molly Hewitt being the unlucky player this time.

Ellie Dyson, making her debut after signing from neighbours Brookvale United LFC, was next up to strike the woodwork. Her dink past the 'keeper hit the foot of a post.

A solo Jess Bazley goal on 84 minutes kickstarted a frantic end to the game.

Upton responded within two minutes with a goal similar to their opener.

But Hewitt, finding acres of space, finished with aplomb for Runcorn's seventh.

Upton pulled another goal back at the death despite Linnets claims for offside against three opponents.

Runcorn Linnets Ladies: Pickering, Isherwood, Finnegan, Barker, Graham, Dyson, Bazley, Gillies, Middleton, (Hewitt 45.) Jones-Sacharewicz (Wieland 62.) Ashley. Subs (not used): Cawley, Russell, Rogers.