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McMillan the hero as Yellows keep play-off dream alive

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GOALKEEPER Tony McMillan was the hero with a late penalty save as Warrington Town kept their play-off dream alive with a 1-0 victory of Hednesford Town.

With the sun shining, the former members of the club’s FA Vase team in the ground celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Wembley visit and a crowd of nearly 500, the scene was set perfect as the Yellows looked to cement their place in the top five.

There was a sombre moment as the teams lined up to observe a minutes silence in memory of those who lost their lives in the Westminster atrocity.

After chances few and far between for either side in the opening exchanges Warrington broke the deadlock on 31 minutes when Mitch Duggan’s long range effort went under the Hednesford keeper Dan Crane.

There was little else of note as Town took their slender lead into the dressing room at half time.

The second half was nearly all one way traffic as Warrington went in search of an elusive second goal with Scott Harries replaced by Michael Monaghan at the break.

On 52 minutes Danny Hattersley struck the crossbar from close range – but his effort would have been ruled out for offside. Moments later Josh Askew struck the side netting.

More chances fell for Hattersley on 58 minutes when he fired over from 12 yards and a few minutes later Mitch Duggan sent in a great cross which Hattersley struck weakley into the keeper’s arms.

Chance after chance went begging as Monaghan placed the ball wide when through on goal.

The visitors reminded everybody they were still very much in the game as McMillan was forced to tip a speculative effort away for a corner.

Then Warrington had a big penalty appeal but substitute Dylan Vassallo was booked for diving.

As Warrington continued to create plenty of chances with some good flowing football there was always a fear the visitors would spoil the party  and then in the 87th minute, almost from nothing, they had a penalty against the run of play.

Were Warrington going to pay the ultimate penalty for missing so many chances?

Up step hero Tony McMillan. Hednesford substitute Danny Glover struck his penalty well enough but McMillan guessed correctly diving to his right, not only saving but hanging on to the ball to receive the biggest cheer of the day, in what could be a defining point in the season.

The victory took Warrington to 4th in the table with a huge game looming on Tuesday evening at home against 5th placed Spennymoor. Another three points would see the Yellows open up a little breathing space in the push for the play-offs.

Town: McMillan, Duggan, Askew, Williams, McCarten (C), Gumbs, Bakkor, Smart, Hattersley, Sherlock, Harries.

Subs. Codling, Ventre, Vassallo, Monaghan, Shaw.

PREMIER DIVISION TABLE

# Team Pl HW HD HL AW AD AL W D L F A Diff Pts Adj
1. Blyth Spartans 40 15 4 1 11 3 6 26 7 7 98 41 57 85 0
2. Nantwich Town 39 9 5 5 12 4 4 21 9 9 77 51 26 72 0
3. Stourbridge 40 12 4 5 9 4 6 21 8 11 70 45 25 71 0
4. Warrington Town 40 14 0 6 7 5 8 21 5 14 58 49 9 68 0
5. Spennymoor Town 37 13 3 3 6 7 5 19 10 8 79 45 34 67 0
6. Whitby Town 39 12 3 4 8 4 8 20 7 12 54 46 8 67 0
7. Buxton 38 10 5 2 8 5 8 18 10 10 67 43 24 64 0
8. Grantham Town 40 11 6 5 7 4 7 18 10 12 66 47 19 64 0
9. Matlock Town 39 12 5 3 7 2 10 19 7 13 59 48 11 64 0
10. Workington 39 12 0 7 8 4 8 20 4 15 63 55 8 64 0
warrington-town-team

The players observe a minutes silence – Picture John Hopkins

wembley-vase-squad

The Wembley squad at half-time

duggan-goal

Goal scorer Duggan is congratulated – Picture John Hopkins

askew

mcmillan-applause

Hero Tony McMillan is applauded off the pitch

 

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 30 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC and current director. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management

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