RUNCORN are still stuck in their Nationwide North rut after five straight defeats.
Very little went right for the Linnets. They let in an early goal, missed a penalty which would have levelled at 2-2 and failed to capitalise on the dismissal of Droylsden midfieldman Ged Murphy for a second bookable offence.
What was beyond the home side's control, however, were some poor decisions by the referee and one of his assistants, whose interpretation of the offside rule was mystifying. Runcorn conceded in the second minute when Ged Nolan, returning to the club two weeks after being released, saw a Carl Regan cross bounce off his shin for midfielder Gareth Morris to score.
Jimmy Turner headed his first Linnets goal to level before Jody Banim was allowed to continue his run, despite being three yards beyond the last defender when the ball was played through, to score.
A handball by Carl Robinson gave Runcorn a chance but Carl Rendell shot straight at Paul Phillips and Robinson beat Runcorn's converging defenders to a 66th-minute corner to kill the Linnets off.
RUNCORN: McMillan, Spearritt (McDiarmid 62), McGinn, Nolan, Robertson, Turner, Garrity,Parle, Young, Rendell (Furlong 69), Brown (Brown 76). Subs: Carragher, Timms.