RUNCORN Linnets Ben Wharton’s late riposte against Colne ­— one of his former clubs – salvaged a point for Linnets, writes David Davies.

But it was no surprise that after four weeks of heavy rain and postponements, the team appeared a bit ring-rusty.

Scrappy is probably the best word to describe the early exchanges, with little in the way of slick passing or fluid football.

The first real Runcorn chance came after 12 minutes, when a neat three-man move by Brown, Wharton and Lindfield resulted in a cross to the left corner of the six-yard box, from where Ryan Gibson’s header slammed into the left upright.

Both teams’ efforts in the middle third were being thwarted by tight marking and closing down.

Half-time impressions were that the home team had applied better-quality football to the few chances created, but that they had struggled to exploit them against a quick and regimented defence.

The visitors took the lead when from corner, Linnets’ Achilles heel struck again.

Kyle Hamid headed away, but the ball came back into the box for Connor Hughes to bury it.

Linnets responded when Ally Brown pulled a cross through the six-yard box.

Ben Wharton back-heeled from a yard out, it was blocked on the line so he back-heeled it again for the equaliser.

The draw was probably a fair result, Linnets having shown more skill in the build-up, but Colne having defended tighter.