WINSFORD United’s hopes of picking up where they had left off in the FA Vase 10 days earlier had been dashed by the break.

Blues trailed 4-0, and remain without a victory in the North West Counties League’s Premier Division this season after seven attempts.

Their hosts took the lead in the ninth minute when Matt Cook, under pressure, was unable to clear and Matthew Ward lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Jack Cookson.

A second goal arrived shortly afterwards following a mix-up between Cookson and player-manager Lee Duckworth presented Terry Cummings – who received a prize before kick-off for being the top-flight’s best performer during August – with the simplest of tasks to score.

Winsford had an opportunity to reduce their arrears when Pete Watling, their match-winner against Liversedge last time out, shot straight at custodian Max Povey.

Will Foster was unlucky to see a glancing header flash past an upright before Cookson produced a smart save despite two Burscough players appearing to be in an offside position.

Declan Daniels was next to fire too close to Povey before Cummings made it 3-0 with Winsford defenders again appealing to a linesman to raise his flag.

It was a similar scene when the Linnets added to their lead, this time Duckworth’s clearance deflecting into Chad Whyte’s path and he slid a neat finish under Cookson.

Dave Short and Sam Howell were introduced from the substitutes’ bench for the second-half, and Winsford improved.

Daniels’ dazzling run did not bring a dividend when Watling failed to apply a finishing touch before the former’s next attempt flashed wide.

Sam Marshall tried his luck from distance, but it did not trouble Povey.

Linnets | Povey (GK), Brady, Clark, Gibson, White, Dunroe, Cummings, Henerty, Whyte, Ekpolo, Ward Sub not used Gary Grier Goals Ward 9, 44 Cummings 11 Whyte 45 Booked Brady, White

Blues | Cookson (GK), Cook (Short 46), Clarke, Fowles, Lee Duckworth (Howell 46), Foster, Koral (Newman 66), Hopper, Watling, Marshall, Daniels Subs not used Taylor, Bircumshaw Booked Clarke, Fowles, Hopper

Referee Alan Bennett

Attendance 78