RUNCORN suffered their first home Nationwide North defeat since the opening day of the season and could not argue with the outcome of their most disappointing performance under Alvin McDonald.
It took two special strikes to end the Linnets' best run of league form since moving to Halton Stadium with Gez Murphy coming up with both exquisite second-half finishes from outside the box, the first with his right-foot and second with the left. Runcorn simply had an off-day as they were second best in all areas of the field.
However, the contest was tight until the 56th-minute when the powerful Murphy turned onto a loose ball 25 yards out. There was no way back once Murphy had curled a low drive inside the other upright to double the Midlanders' lead in the 71st minute. McDonald had replaced both central players in an ineffective midfield and also took off skipper Steve Carragher, but the changes made little difference.
The one moment of inspiration from Runcorn came in the 62nd minute but Nicky Young slipped a shot wide of the left post.
RUNCORN: McMillan, Carragher (Rendell 58), McGinn, Spearritt, Robertson, Ness, Brown (Field 58), Lally (Turner 58), Young, Byrne, Courtney. Subs: Nolan, Timms (GK)