Barnoldswick Town made to pay as the leaders bounce back from first defeat

Unstoppable free kick: Martin Broderick
Unstoppable free kick: Martin Broderick

Town were made to pay as leaders Runcorn Linnets bounced back from the first defeat of the season against Nelson last weekend.

Barnoldswick toiled away and played extremely well for the full 90 minutes, but once the Linnets got on top just before half-time, it always looked like it was going to be the home side’s day.

The deadlock was broken shortly before the break with a strange goal, Franny Smith charging down a clearance that flew in the top corner.

Then Warren Bellew’s flag kick was turned by Chris Lomax into the path of Smith, who finished with aplomb to send Linnets in 2-0 up.

In the second half, Matt’s cross which eluded Lee Thompson, but Martin Crowder poked it home for 3-0.

A ball over the top then found Crowder and the left back finished with a cool strike for his second of the game.

The home keeper was powerless to stop a pile driver of a free kick from Martin Broderick to reduce the arrears, only for Matt Atherton to chest the ball down, turn and volley home in one movement.

Smith knocking home at the near post for his hat-trick goal, before Town got their second with a flick header from the excellent Joel Melia.

Tomorrow, Town are at Congleton Town (3 p.m.).