RUNCORN'S never-say-die approach wasn't enough as Staly-bridge clung on for victory in a Good Friday relegation tussle watched by a 900-plus crowd.
The Linnets didn't give up hope of cancelling out a 44th-minute lead opened on the rebound by striker Andy Parton.
But Celtic's defence held firm to send Runcorn into the relegation places, if only for three days.
To compound their worries, Runcorn had Barry Jones stretchered off with a head injury in the 51st minute, although he was fit enough to resume against Stafford on Monday.
While keeping at it, the visitors could never do quite enough to unsettle the Stalybridge rear-guard.
However, Runcorn, as the away side, will feel they deserved something from it.
Phil Denney's saved 64th-minute header was their best second-half effort - Tommy Taylor having struck the home woodwork after just eight minutes.
Steve Smith reciprocated by likewise striking a left upright in the 37th minute with Parton then miskicking in front of goal before hitting his matchwinner for rejuvenated Bridge.
RUNCORN: Thompson, Spear-ritt, McGinn, Jones (Young 51), Robertson, Jack, Taylor, Parle (Willis 76), Moore, Denney, Lock (McDiarmid 82). Subs: Carragher, Glover. Attendance: 920.