RUNCORN took pride of place at Holker Street on Tuesday as they won through to the third round of the National Conference Cup.
Missing their current first-choice strike partnership of Nicky Young, unavailable through work commitments, and cup-tied loan star Danny Byrne, the already injury-ravaged Linnets survived for 20 minutes, including stoppages, with 10 men.
Ged Courtney was sent-off for alleged dissent - a second bookable offence - after the referee had called his attempted clearance a back-pass and awarded the Cumbrians a free-kick six yards out.
Runcorn lined-up defenders on the goal-line with John Robertson getting his body in the way to divert the ball over - protecting a lead won by Kieron Durkan's 10-yard shot after five minutes.
They banked up with two lines of four and a lone striker, just as they had done in the previous round at Vauxhall when Lee Kissock's broken leg left them a man short.
Manager Alvin McDonald said: 'We were superb. When you win a game like that you come off with a real sense of achievement and a pride in the lads who were wearing a Runcorn shirt.' RUNCORN: McMillan, Carragher, Ness, Moore, Robertson, Turner, Brown, Lally, Durkan, Rendell (Wright 76) Courtney. Subs: Nolan, Spearritt, Field, Wright. Attendance: 302.
Harrogate Town 1, Runcorn FC Halton 0
AFTER being caught cold inside nine minutes by a set-piece routine, which their management team had warned them about, Runcorn warmed the fingers of Harrogate's keeper with a late assault.
But Paul Pettinger, also the home skipper, stood firm with a couple of cracking saves to thwart the Linnets' attempted fight back which was stepped up in the last 15 minutes.
Dangerman Marc Smith's ninth-minute header handed Town their seventh win from nine unbeaten home league games.
It also condemned Runcorn to a first defeat under Alvin McDonald. RUNCORN: McMillan, Carragher, McGinn (Field), Moore, Robertson, Ness, Brown, Parle (Rendell), Young, Byrne, Courtney. Subs: Durkan, Nolan, Wright. Attendance: 407.