Blues do rivals a huge favour in the title race

Robert Grimes in action for Nelson against Winsford United
Robert Grimes in action for Nelson against Winsford United

Nelson did rivals Colne a huge favour in the North West Counties Premier Division title race as they took a point off league leaders Runcorn Linnets.

The visitors took the lead just after the half-hour mark when left back Matt Atherton’s header from a corner cannoned back off the crossbar, and top scorer Freddie Potter fired past Sean Davis once Anthony Hickey’s rebound had been blocked.

The table-toppers almost doubled their lead soon after when, from another dangerously delivered Kurt Sherlock corner, Hickey glanced a header wide of the upright.

In the second half, after Linnets ‘ goalkeeper Dean Porter had received lengthy treatment when sustaining a hand injury, the Admirals went close to levelling as Stephen Cassidy’s header flashed past the far upright.

The away side continued to press and probe without success and their hard work was undone with seven minutes left when Adam Nuttall, on as a substitute, equalised when clipping the ball over Porter following Ashley Brierley’s cross from the right hand side.

The visitors, who are now three points clear of the Reds having played two games more, went close to snatching victory late on but Michael Simpson’s effort from distance struck the woodwork.

The result capped a fine few days for the Blues who thrashed Winsford United 5-1 at the weekend.

After Dale Latham foiled Robert Grimes and Ollie Evans, United’s Jonathan Jones hit the bar.

Latham also denied Nuttall before Evans missed the target with the goal gaping from the rebound as the first half ended goalless.

But Paul Fildes’s side rallied after the interval with Grimes netting twice, while also striking the upright, and Bradley Wicks, Evans and Cassidy added to the scoring.

Jordan Johnson grabbed United’s consolation.