RUNCORN'S latest runout had the same outcome as the last - well, almost.
After a fortnight's enforced break and two postponements, Linnets were able to celebrate back-to-back victories over the Rochdale side they have now beaten three times.
This was the closest meeting and the manner of this North West Counties Division Two victory was by no means as spectacular as last month's 9-1 Division Two trophy win on the same ground.
But Steve Carragher's side did all they had to do.
Despite Runcorn falling behind in the first half, you always sensed victory was well within their capability.
In the end, they achieved it with something to spare.
Mick Young, Paul Scott and Thomas Lamb all hit the woodwork for Linnets while Dave Thompson had an effort turned onto the bar by keeper Mark Canning.
The upshot of this victory was a return to the top of the Division Two table albeit on points difference and perhaps temporarily.
Deposed leaders Winsford now have two games in hand after Saturday's home postponement against Holker Old Boys and will play the first of these this weekend, away to Oldham Town.
The bonus for Runcorn was Thompson's return from his ankle injury.
He not only got through 75 minutes but also scored the goal which sealed the result.
Runcorn were more fluent in the first half than in the second.
Paul Parle gave another intelligent and enterprising display at left-back.
But Ricky Newell, on the opposite side of defence, and midfieldman Colin Quirk were others to stand out before the break.
Teenager Parle went off soon after the restart, having failed to run off a first-half knock on the foot he had fractured in pre-season while with Prescot Cables.
Quirk, having been struggling with a groin injury, was also withdrawn after finding it increasingly hard going on a heavy surface, which to be fair held up remarkably well after the rain.
As in the earlier cup-tie, Castleton fired a couple of warning shots across Runcorn's bows.
They had already hit the bar by the time Brad Barrington opened the scoring with a real collector's item.
It stemmed from a rare mistake from keeper Robbie Holcroft who allowed Barrington's free-kick, driven from the right high towards the far post, to go through his hands.
However, the Linnets' keeper didn't allow the mistake to affect him and he pulled off a series of long-shot saves while showing good anticipation to quickly snuff out danger inside his box.
Runcorn were behind for just four minutes. When Parle's attempted cross was headed behind for a corner, Quirk's kick was nodded on by Paul Scott, arguably the visitors' most consistent player over the 90 minutes.
Centre half Thomas Boden, with back to goal, hooked it over his head and speculative though the effort seemed, Gabriels were powerless to prevent it going in.
Linnets were in front 10 minutes from half-time.
Often unsung midfieldman Kenny Rollinson created a shooting opportunity for himself by laying the ball at the feet of Thomas Lamb.
He steered home the return pass from just outside the box with a measured right-foot finish low to the keeper's left.
Runcorn made a bright enough start to the second half but for a time lost their way.
There was a wake-up call in the 57th minute when Castleton thought they had equalised from another set-piece, this time with a header.
Fortunately for Runcorn, the linesman had his flag up and kept it raised until the referee noticed it.
With Young again showing his renowned running power, Run-corn rallied again and got their clinching third goal in the 66th minute.
Quirk delivered a free-kick to the feet of Thompson, who looped a first-time 20-yard shot over keeper Canning.
LINNETS: Holcroft, Newell, Parle (Edwards 64), O'Driscoll, Boden, Rollinson, Quirk (S Swales 3), Scott, Thompson (J Swales 76), Lamb, Young.