DISPLAYING no signs of ring rustiness after having had two of their three previous games postponed, Warrington Rylands 1906 returned to action on Tuesday by beating Whitchurch Alport 7-1 at Gorsey Lane.

The resounding win lifts them up to second in the fledgling NWCFL Premier Division table behind leaders Winsford United on goal difference and sets them up nicely for their next assignment at home to Padiham in the Buildbase FA Vase first round on Saturday, kick off 3pm.

After the game, a delighted Rylands manager Dave McNabb commented: “A brilliant performance and result tonight.

“We completely controlled the game against a good side. Some of the football played was fantastic at times and we scored a couple of excellent team goals."

It was the visitors who almost drew first blood in the first minute of the game, with Rylands goalkeeper Graeme McCall being forced into a flying save to turn away a Matt Owen shot.

McCall was a virtual spectator for the remaining 89 minutes while his opposite number was kept busy.

Whitchurch’s Lewis Dutton pulled off a string of fine saves in the opening quarter to keep out shots from Elliot Nevitt, Kane Drummond and Sam Sheen.

However, Dutton could not prevent Paul Shanley from opening the scoring in the 31st minute.

A Warren Gerrard cross from the right found Shanley lurking at the far post where he headed the ball past Dutton.

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Three minutes later. Dutton could only stand and watch as debutant Nevitt, a recent signing from City of Liverpool, ran onto a pass from Charlie Doyle to fire a first time shot from 20 yards past a stunned keeper to double the Blues’ advantage.

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Captain Gary Kenny headed in his side’s third goal in the 42nd minute, guiding a free kick whipped in from the left flank by Tom McNamara into the net.

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A minute before half time, against the run of play, Whitchurch pulled a goal back when a long ball into the Rylands box allowed Owen to capitalise on some confusion in the home side’s rearguard to slip a shot in to the bottom corner to make the half time score 3-1.

The second half continued with Rylands dominating the game, creating numerous goal scoring opportunities with Dutton making several good saves, the woodwork being struck and other efforts just off target.

Rylands’ fourth goal of the evening came in the 65th minute when Shanley’s shot across the face of goal was diverted into his own net by Alport defender Joe Minshall.

Ten minutes later, it was 5-1 thanks to another own goal – Tom Freeman met a corner with a diving header in the six yard box and the ball nestled in the back of the net after hitting a post and Alport defender Jack Griffiths on its way in.

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Drummond completed the scoring with two late goals – the first was an outstanding individual effort running through the Alport defence before slotting the ball past Dutton.

His second came after Kenny cleared off his own line following a rare Whitchurch corner, Andy Scarisbrick led a length of the pitch break feeding Drummond who drilled the ball into the net from just inside the Alport area.

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Words by Garry Clarke, pictures by Mark Percy