Mistakes cost Storks in loss to league leaders
Steve Wilkes was happy with the desire and passion shown from his players in defeat to league leaders Runcorn Linnets but rued the defensive errors which ultimately cost his side.
Kieron Pickup gave the visitors the lead just before the quarter-of-an-hour mark when rifling the ball past Dean Porter from the edge of the box after Sean Cookson and Aaron Taylor had combined in the build up.
The hosts equalised when just after the half-hour when Anthony Hickey poked the ball beyond Michael Donlon from inside the six-yard box.
Linnets upped the ante after the break, seeking the points that would preserve their advantage over Colne and Atherton Collieries, and capitalised on a defensive mix up in the 77th minute.
Seydou Bamba and Lee Botham were caught under a long ball forward leaving Kyle Hamid to race clear and slam the ball past Donlon.
That prompted the Storks to commit men forward in search of an equaliser but they were caught on the counter with three minutes remaining and Ryan Cox drilled an effort in to the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
“We just can’t defend,” said Wilkes. “It’s frustrating because we’d played well for 77 minutes too. The pitch was hideous, a quagmire, and it was like playing on quick sand which didn’t help.
“We started well, scored a great goal, and as the game went on their fans started to turn.
“But we conceded a poor goal and then right on half-time their goalkeeper has made a brilliant save to push Chris Turner’s shot on to the post. That would’ve been a great time to score.
“They started to throw more bodies forward in the second half and they’ve eventually scored from a defensive mix up.
“They scored again late on when we’d pushed forward for an equaliser.”
Wilkes added: “We did alright against a club at the top of the league.
“They battled hard and stuck their heads in but mistakes have cost us.
“We caused them a lot of problems over the 90 minutes and in the end 3-1 flattered them. We’ve just got to be street-wise.”
The Storks take on Atherton Collieries at the weekend with kick-off at 3 p.m. at the Arbories.