RUNCORN reverted to type at Halton Stadium on Tuesday night with a potentially damaging defeat.
Only three days after posting their first home victory of the season in the UniBond League Premier Division, the Linnets' form disintegrated against an Altrincham side who could hardly have had things any easier.
They handed their old rivals victory on a plate with all three Robins goals being down to individual errors.
Ian Craney capitalised on Tony McMillan's overexuberance in dealing with a back pass in the 23rd minute. The Runcorn goal-keeper knocked the ball over a defender's head only to send his volleyed clear-ance straight to the onrushing Ian Craney whose instant finish embarrassed McMillan as he tried to make back his ground.
Strike number two, nine minutes from half-time, stemmed from a cross by Stephen Rose which Peter Ellis should have dealt with, but instead he teed the ball up for Matthew Bailey to routinely convert.
Any hopes Runcorn had of a comeback were ended within four minutes of the restart when McMillan allowed an angled shot by Jamie Baguley to spin away from him. Marcus Hallows was credited with a tap-in although it seemed as if the ball had already crossed the line.
A low drive by Tom Spearritt and a header from the same player which skimmed the bar - both in the last half hour - were the sum total of Runcorn's meagre efforts.
RUNCORN FC HALTON: McMillan, Garrity, McGinn, Nolan, Ellis (Lightfoot 69), Spearritt, Ness, Morley, Kissock (Aldridge 81), Courtney (Larkin 46), Rendell. ALTRINCHAM: Coburn, Aspinall, Shuttleworth, Maddox, Band, Kielty, Rose, Craney, Hallows (Lugsden 83), Bailey (Wright 76), Baguley. Subs: Hutchinson.