Cheadle Town 2-4 Runcorn Town

A frustrating evening.

Not because we let a 2-0 lead slip but the fact that we played well enough - and created enough chances - to have had the match out of Runcorn Town's sight before they hauled themselves back into contention.

We couldn't have asked for a better start against opposition that are currently top of the Premier Division.

We were 2-0 up within the first six minutes.

On the 5th minute Luke Hincks called for the ball to be played inside from the right and netted a looping shot from 30 yards out. Barely sixty seconds later Sam Noar went on a run down the left before cutting inside and burying the ball low to the keeper's right.

The next significant chance didn't come until the 24th minute but it resulted in another goal, this time for the visitors when Craig Cairns connected with a low cross from the right and clipped home from close range.

Runcorn Town tried the same move again just after the half-hour mark but Steve Piggott was equal to it this time, getting down low to make an excellent block.

Four minutes later down the other end Rick Whyatt had a great chance to restore our two-goal advantage but thumped his shot over the bar when through on the right.

After the half-time break we then had two or three excellent chances to put the match out of reach.

On 49 minutes Luke Hincks made a neat turn in the box but his first-time effort was met with an excellent save by the keeper on the line with an unmarked Sam Noar then finding the ball at his feet in the area some six minutes later; perhaps he had too much time to think as his turn and shot sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Liam Tongue then sent one of his trademark piledrivers inches wide of the post before Rick Whyatt found himself clean through on goal on the 70th minute. Looking set to score the attentions of a defender seemed to put him off as he lost control of the ball at the vital moment.

Deciding that we had squandered enough chances that they had presented us, the footballing Gods turned their attention to Runcorn Town who gratefully accepted and turned the match around.

On 72 minutes a free-kick from the right found Simon Thelwell on the far side of the box where he placed a well-measured curler over the head of Piggott before Craig Cairns then netted his second of the match two minutes later, latching onto a floated free-kick to poke the ball over the onrushing Piggott.

With a minute remaining, Joe Holt sealed the deal for the visitors, collecting a diagonal ball from the left and finishing easily at the far post.

Despite the result, plenty of positives to take from the performance and plenty to take into the final chapter of #ThreeCupsWeek, a visit to City of Liverpool for the First Division Trophy.

TEAM: Piggott, Todd, Pearson, German, Tongue, Dunn, Hincks, Russell, Noar (Tosum), Whyatt, Magida (Grant). SUBS: Tosum, Flannery, McLaughlin, Grant, Shaw.