A penalty from captain Jake O’Brien early in the second half clinched a 1-0 win for Daisy Hill at Runcorn Town in a feisty North West Counties League First Division North encounter on Saturday.

Although the margin of victory was narrow in the end, Daisy dominated possession for long spells in the game and could easily have scored several more goals in what was an excellent team performance.

Afterwards Daisy defender Ben Unsworth reflected on a good afternoon for the visitors.

“We played the conditions well, played some good football and created some good chances,” said Unsworth.

“We had a lot of chances and didn’t put them away, and I think we will work on that this week in training and get the finishing improved.

“It’s disappointing to have missed so many chances, but sometimes that is the case in games.

“Defensively I thought we were very good, they had a couple of half-chances but I don’t think they put us under a lot of pressure.

“I think in the first half we could have played better, we have certainly been better in other games this season.

“So we were a bit disappointed in the first half, but in the second half we were much better, got the penalty to go 1-0 up, and from there went on to win the game.

“Obviously, it’s good to keep a clean sheet, because in this league clean sheets generally means you win games.

“Runcorn are above us in the league, and it’s always good to take points from teams above you.

“The lads are training hard and training really well right now, we are looking more solid and playing some good football, so we have to take that into performances in the remaining games in the season.

“It’s a real chance for us to push forward and get some more wins on the board.”

Daisy began the game well, and after Jamie Ramwell picked up a Ryan Talbot flick and fired just over the bar in the third minute, Talbot found the back of the net three minutes later.

An O’Brien shot was pushed out by the Runcorn keeper, Jake Barrow, and Talbot pounced on the loose ball to side-foot home, but the assistant referee had flagged for offside.

On 15 minutes, Daisy had a scare when Runcorn created their best chance of the match, when Joel Vincent raced into the box, rounded Morgan Newns but shot into the side-netting.

It was, however, a fairly rare foray for the home side, and the best chances in the remainder of the half fell to Daisy, with Glenn Matthews unlucky to see a header from O’Brien’s corner cleared off the line, and Sam Twist firing wide from 20 yards after good lead-up play from Ramwell.

After the break, Daisy almost scored straight from the kick off, when a Twist through ball put Talbot through on goal and although his shot beat Runcorn keeper Barrow, it crept just wide.

Straight from the restart, a mishit clearance from Barrow presented another chance for Talbot, but his shot was blocked by a covering defender.

But eight minutes into the second half, Daisy finally made the breakthrough, when they were awarded a penalty after skipper O’Brien was absolutely flattened by a bone-rattling challenge just inside the box.

O’Brien dusted himself down and maintained his 100-per-cent record from the spot this season, despatching the penalty into the net via the hand of the keeper and the inside of the post.

From then on, Daisy keeper Newns was a virtual spectator as the game was played predominantly in the Runcorn half, and the chances continued to flow with the best being a shot from Ben Howarth fumbled by the keeper, but grabbed at the second attempt, and a great move started by Alex Dodd who set Malick Tanou free down the right, and from his cross Twist headed just over.

With 10 minutes remaining, Daisy were reduced to 10 men when Tanou was shown a red card for his reaction to a tough challenge, but it made little difference to the pattern of play with Lee Hill’s men continuing to dominate possession.

As the game moved into stoppage time, tempers became more frayed and Runcorn were also reduced to 10 men when central defender Ishmael Banks was shown his second yellow card of the game.

After the final whistle, players from both sides clashed and Daisy’s Matthews was shown his second yellow card of the afternoon, with the visiting players being instructed by the referee to remain on the pitch while the Runcorn players were ushered into the dressing room.

Daisy were scheduled to be back in action again tonight at home against AFC Blackpool in the North West Counties League First Division North at the Plumb Factory Stadium but the game was postponed this afternoon due to a frozen pitch.