Two goals from Ruben Wiggins-Thomas and one from Anthony Malbon saw Kidsgrove Athletic beat Runcorn Linnets 3-0 in their final pre-season friendly of the summer.
It was a very competitive game of football with the match having the blood and thunder that you would expect to find at a league game rather than a pre-season friendly as both teams wanted to ensure that they were ready for the new season starting next Saturday.
Among the Runcorn side was former Leek Town defender Scott Lycett, who was with the Harrison Park outfit up until last summer when he joined Marine before making the switch across Merseyside just before Christmas last year.
Despite the scoreline, it was the visitors who had the first chances with Jon Welsh shooting straight at Kieran Harrison. Meanwhile, Kurt Sherlock had a penalty appeal waved away as the referee deemed that Oliver Hickman had made an outstanding challenge in the penalty box.
At the other end, Tom France put a header just wide from a Ben Chesters cross, then shortly afterwards Kyle Blake also had an effort but, the midfielder put his shot wide of the goal.
The breakthrough came on 44 minutes when Malbon did well to get into the area. He then squared the ball to Wiggins-Thomas who had the easiest job in the world in sliding the ball into the empty net.
With everyone heading for their half-time pint the Grove grabbed a second goal when Hickman headed the ball on towards the Runcorn area. Malbon managed to get himself between the defender and the onrushing Ryan Nield to poke the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.
The second half was a quieter affair as both managers changed things up on the pitch, trying out new formations ahead of the new season. It led to the pace of the game being slowed down.
However, Kidsgrove got that third goal on the hour mark when Kyle Diskin played in an amazing cross which Wiggins-Thomas was able to convert with a diving header.
That was the last of the chances really as Wiggins-Thomas and Malbon were both brought off being replaced by Sam Hall and Jake Lovatt respectively as the Grove management team had one eye on next Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Chasetown.
The Grove did have one final chance to make it 4-0 when Diskin saw his excellent free-kick tipped over the bar by the Linnets goalkeeper when it looked destined to hit the back of the net.
With pre-season now over for Kidsgrove, manager Scott Dundas will be pleased with his team’s performances that they have shown throughout the pre-season programme. However, that all counts for nothing as it starts next Saturday with the visit of Chasetown in the Emirates FA Cup.