WINSFORD United recovered from the blow of conceding inside the first minute to record a comfortable victory in their opener.

Sam Turnbull’s cross crept into the net to put Burscough in front but Blues steadied themselves on a bumpy pitch.

They created a chance when Nathan Cotterell picked out Dave Short and his header flashed pas a post, while at the other end Danny Thomas marshalled a defence that featured Will Foster after he returned from a trial at Nantwich.

The visitors restored parity on 19 minutes when D’Arcy O’Connor lifted the ball over a defender before shooting past goalkeeper Dom Gardner with the help of a deflection off another.

Blues ought to have doubled their lead after a Burscough back-marker handled but Short’s spot-kick was kept out by the former Witton Albion custodian and Dale Jennings could not direct the loose ball over the line.

Cotterell’s volley then brought the best from Garner, while at the other end Michael Langley – otherwise untroubled – was alert to save Deklan Hill’s header.

Winsford took the lead on the hour when Thomas glanced a header from a set-piece into the far corner.

Buoyed, Winsford pushed for a decisive third goal and found one on 68 minutes when Kyle McGonigle’s drive from a free-kick – after substitute Sam Madeley had been fouled – arrowed past Garner.

Linnets | Garner (GK), Turnbull, Doherty (Fielding 75), Lightfoot, Rawsthorne, Presho, Richardson, Hayes, Zama (Gibney 67), Hill, McGrath Subs not used Luke Smith, Matthew Smith, Jones (GK) Goal Turnbull 1 Booked Turnbull, Hill

Blues | Langley (GK), Skolorzynski (Lever 67), Disney, McGonigle, Thomas, Foster, Jennings (Coley 74), O’Connor (Madeley 55), Cotterell, Short, Marshall Subs not used Elliott, Jenyons Goals O’Connor 19, Thomas 59, McGonigle 68 Booked McGonigle, Jennings, Short

Referee Oliver Nolan

Attendance 85