MANAGERLESS Warrington Town fell to a dour 1-0 defeat at Halesowen Town.
For the second successive game, M6 traffic woes caused the late arrival of the Yellows and a subsequent kick-off delay, and the action on the pitch did little to improve a long day out for the club’s supporters.
A well taken first half goal by prolific striker Kaiman Anderson was enough to earn Halesowen all three points, with the visitors managing just the solitary effort on target, coming in the last minute.
The result will no doubt make chairman Toby Macormac move quickly to announce the club’s new manager, following the departures of Stuart Mellish and Lee Smith, and a decision could be made as early as Tuesday.
Buoyed by Tuesday’s come-from-behind win up the road at Rushall Olympic, Warrington will have entered this game looking to at least take a point.
The welcome return of Scott Metcalfe from suspension at least restored some balance to the side, though striker Steven Gillespie continued in the middle of midfield due to the ongoing absence of Danny Ventre and Gerard Kinsella.
It took 13 minutes for anything of note to happen, Gillespie well placed to clear the ball off the line from a Halesowen corner.
A nice move involving Gillespie, Ciaran Kilheeney and Michael Grogan hinted that the Yellows were to continue the footballing philosophy of stand-in gaffer Steve Hayes, with Tom Peers scuffing the resulting chance wide, but it was to prove a false dawn.
Anderson, with 13 goals to his name already this season, fired a warning shot at Karl Wills, in the end a comfortably save, but not after the forward had left James McCarten and John Shaw scampering back.
Another Yellows opportunity came on 25 minutes, Kilheeney holding the ball up well down the left hand side and finding the supporting Metcalfe, who nutmegged his man but was then seemingly caught in two minds and ended up blazing a left foot shot high and wide when maybe the cross was tempting his attention.
What turned out to be the only goal of the game came on 34 minutes. A soft free-kick was conceded in the centre circle, and James Hancocks’s delivery was nodded down by Kennedy Digie, and hooked in to the back of the net by Anderson in some style, in a not too dissimilar fashion to how Warrington had conceded at Rushall on Tuesday night.
Halesowen took the 1-0 lead in to half-time and the Yellows offered little in the way of a fightback.
Half-hearted appeals for a penalty for handball on the hour mark came to nothing as the visitors struggled to string any sort of passing together, and were left frustrated by some questionable decisions by the officials that saw captain Kilheeney have several lengthy conversations with the referee.
Anderson was the difference between the two sides, and he could have had a second on 72 minutes if it wasn’t for Wills closing him down quickly and saving with his legs.
Lee Chilton had two efforts from outside the box, the first blocked by McCarten and the latter just going wide with Wills beaten, before Anderson could have finished it in the 89th minute, blazing over when well placed in the box.
As injury-time started, a almost catastrophic misjudgement by Halesowen ‘keeper Daniel Platt almost gifted the Yellows an unlikely equaliser, Platt rushing out of his box and missing a header, but the ball just wouldn’t fall for substitute Connor Speed to find the empty net.
Warrington forced a late corner and finally managed an attempt on goal, but Kilheeney’s header from Gillespie’s right-wing cross was more than comfortable for the ‘keeper and the Yellows were forced to travel back north with nothing to show for their afternoon’s work.
They are next in action on Saturday, when local rivals Nantwich Town visit Cantilever Park for an FA Trophy clash (3pm kick-off).
Halesowen Town: Platt, Haynes, Hancocks, Denny, Sho-Silva, Charlton, Goddard, Digie, Anderson, Delaney (Bragoli), Chilton. Unused subs: Morrison, Griffiths, Cleet, O’Day.
Warrington Town: Wills, Wylie, Nicholas, Gillespie, McCarten, Shaw, Harries (Humphries), Grogan (Lenighan), Kilheeney, Peers (Speed), Metcalfe. Unused subs: O’Donnell, Kinsella.