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Under-strength Yellows bow out of League Cup

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UNDER-STRENGTH Warrington Town bowed out of the Integro League Cup at the first hurdle with a 2-0 defeat to Ashton United.

Assistant manager Craig Robinson took charge in the absence of Paul Carden as the Yellows made 10 changes from Saturday’s league win over Rushall Olympic.

Only Peter Wylie remained as a youthful side were beaten by goals either side of half-time by Jody Banim and Rio Murray.

Warrington never troubled Ashton goalkeeper Ritchie Branagan, as despite having plenty of possession in midfield, they failed to create much in the final third.

Former Yellows striker Lee Gaskell, who started in the FA Cup second round defeat to Gateshead two years ago, was a late addition to the Ashton starting line-up in place of Murray, due to his late arrival at the ground.

Ashton started brightly and had a golden opportunity to take the lead inside three minutes when Lee Knight made inroads down the right and cleverly pulled it back for Jack Dorney, who tried to place the ball past Karl Wills but the big shot stopper was alert to it and got down early.

The hosts only had to wait 16 minutes to break the deadlock, veteran striker Banim getting in behind, holding off two inexperienced defenders and then finishing confidently past Wills.

There were no other chances of note in the first half, with the Yellows only shot coming from Lewis Codling on the stroke of half-time.

A disjointed start to the second half was broken up by a flurry of substitutions, with only Dorney having a meaningful effort on goal, well saved by Wills.

Ashton’s second goal came on 66 minutes, the dangerous Knight again getting in down the right and finding unmarked substitute Murray who made no mistake from eight yards.

Steven Gillespie looked most likely to create something for Town, and he twice had the defence on the turn, setting up Connor Speed and John Humphries, who both fired wide when well placed.

In the end, Warrington exited the competition they won two seasons ago, and extended a winless run in knockout competitions that now dates back to January and the Cheshire Senior Cup win over Northwich Manchester Villa.

Warrington are back in league action on Saturday against Barwell at Cantilever Park.

Ashton United: Branagan, Coo, Loftthouse, Haining (Frost), Mason, Moses (Lees), Baguley, Dorney, Gaskell (Murray), Banim, Knight. Unused subs: Steenson, Maiese.

Warrington Town: Wills, Wylie (Marzetti), Lambert, Gillespie, Reynolds, Coombs, Codling (Edgerton), Hayes (Humphries), Speed, Ludgate, Harries. Unused sub: Robinson.

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Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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