Runcorn Linnets extend playoff cushion despite frustrating Nantwich Town stalemate

Runcorn Linnets vs Bootle chance

Runcorn Linnets remain third after enduring a frustrating 0-0 draw with playoff hopefuls Nantwich Town. 

The stalemate extended Linnets’ unbeaten run to three matches following their win over Avro and now back-to-back draws. 

Their cushion in the playoffs stands at six points with City of Liverpool and Witton Albion to play on Saturday. 

Linnets looked the more likely to find the breakthrough threatening Jack Barratt’s goal. However, two goal-saving challenges from Troy Bourne kept the hosts at bay with Jacques Welsh thundering a right-footed effort off the post. 

The Dabbers did go close twice through Kai Evans but both his stinging efforts whistled past the post. 

Prescot Cables play on Saturday and could create a four-point gap over Linnets in third with a win away at Clitheroe. But a 95th-minute equaliser for Trafford away at Bootle meant that they couldn’t leapfrog Billy Paynter’s side. 

‘Story of our season so far’

Runcorn Linnets manager Billy Paynter told Off The Park: “It’s frustrating that we didn’t put our numerous chances away, fair play to Nantwich putting their bodies on the line, that’s what you’d expect from your defenders, but we had clearcut opportunities and hit their bodies. I felt we dealt with their frontline, we limited them, Kai is a lively striker and had that lovely chance on his right but Bails (Bayleigh Passant) has had a quiet afternoon.

“I’m pleased that we got a clean sheet and in the end, it was a bit of a chess match. Some bits were good in our play, it’s frustrating that we haven’t put our chances away which is the story of our season so far.

“When we’ve played teams and it has gone for us, it’s been three, four or five. But when we’ve still continued with our play, got the final third entries, it’s been 1-0 or 0-0 today, the story of the season that we’ve created chances but haven’t put them away.

“I looked before, can we get four to six points (from the Bank Holiday weekend), we got one today and now the aim is to get three at Prescot. It’s still in our hands, I know the lads will be disappointed because they haven’t put away their chances but it’s a quick turnaround and we have another chance on Monday.

[Featured image: Neil Phillip Thornton]

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