WISE half-time words from boss Graham Vile and a Sean O’Rourke brace saw Christleton to a 2-0 derby victory at Blacon Youth Club on Saturday which left their neighbours still winless and nine points adrift at the foot of West Cheshire League Division One.
The hosts were more than a match for their mid-table opponents before the break, but once former Chester City and Vauxhall Motors coach Vile got to grips with his men at the interval and impressed on them the need to play the passing style of football he prefers, Christleton were transformed.
They opened the scoring when O’Rourke headed home Craig Warrignton’s cross, although the Blacon goalkeeper will feel he should have done better.
And it was O’Rourke, revelling in his makeshift-striker role, who sealed the success by heading in Paul Sweeney’s centre.
The only downside for Vile was that he lost Carrigan, Warrington and Danny Davies to injuries which make the trio doubtful for Saturday’s Pyke Cup first-round clash at Marine Reserves (2.30pm).
Blacon, whose manager Peter Hughes took heart from his side’s first-half performance against Christleton, host West Kirby while Helsby head to Ellesmere Port (both 1.30pm) on the back on their Runcorn FA Cup first-round 5-0 home romp over Halfway House Celtic on Saturday.
Sam Bailey (2), Tyrone Gay, Matty Johnson and Lee Bignall put the lower-league visitors to the sword.
Helsby co-manager Gary Moore was pleased with the performance.
“I expected to beat them but it was still nice to do it and it sets us up for some big games,” said Moore, who has moved to sign his younger brother Robbie, a centre-back with North West Counties experience.