LINNETS came up short in the battle of the North West Counties Division Two's top two and found themselves being overtaken as leaders.
Manager Steve Carragher could not argue with the result - and didn't - as Winsford always had the edge in the highlycharged encounter.
'They were the better side and deserved their win,' admitted the Runcorn boss.
'We had a game plan but didn't stick to it. We did pick up in the second half after having a go at them at half-time but I just think we lacked in certain areas.
'Winsford seemed a bit sharper and not many teams have done that. We looked a little flat all over the park.
'We've had a good talk and I wasn't happy with a few things.
'Defensively, we were a bit ropey at times. Both Winsford's goals were gifted rather than them having to work for them.
'Our decision making was poor and we weren't on our mettle.
'But it is hard to be too critical. If somebody had told me that by the end of October, we'd be in the position we are, you'd gladly
Heartening for the future was the 300-strong crowd - a debut season's high for Linnets.
Winsford had a lot to offer going forward with both scorers - speedy wide man Dave Hanlon and big, powerful striker Rob Hopley - causing Runcorn no end of discomfort.
They also looked composed at the back and seldom allowed Linnets' free-scoring Dave Thompson and Thomas Lamb room for manoeuvre.
The pair were often left isolated as the midfield stood off.
Winsford scored the opener they had been threatening on the half-hour.
Keeper George Caulfield called for, but only flapped at, a deep left-wing cross after advancing to the edge of his six-yard box. The ball fell for Hanlon to fire into a vacant net from 18 yards.
A bits-and-pieces display from Linnets finally came together a minute from half-time.
Lamb, despite having two defenders for company, forced a corner with a deflected shot which keeper Danny Morton couldn't keep in.
When Michael Young's kick was only half-cleared, Lamb drilled home through a crowded penalty area for his 13th in all competitions.
It didn't prove lucky for Linnets. Despite an early second-half rally, Runcorn found themselves trailing again.
In the 64th minute. Chris Melia was allowed too much space on the right. His shot was well turned away by Caulfield but Hopley made no mistake from the rebound.
Young, Thompson and Lamb tried to conjure something up in a late spell of home pressure but Winsford had a little too much on the night.
LINNETS: Caulfield, Phillips (Bowden 77), Parle, O'Driscoll, Newell, Edwards (Rollinson 77), McIntyre, Scott, Thompson, Lamb, Young. Sub: Davies. Attendance: 308.