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Yellows forced to settle for FA Trophy replay with Ashton

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WARRINGTON Town were made to rue a host of missed chances as they were taken to an FA Trophy replay by Ashton United.

It was the third time this season these two had met, and once again the Yellows couldn’t get the better of their Greater Manchester opponents.

A fortuitous equaliser from Aboubacar Sanogo earned a 1-1 draw for the home side after they had fell behind against the run of play after the hour mark.

The two will now go head to head again on Tuesday night in Ashton for a place in the third qualifying round on the road to Wembley.

Having lost both league meetings between the two already this season, including a 1-0 home defeat back in August, Warrington got off to a bright start, forcing a couple of early corners. After one was cleared, a neat pass by Evan Gumbs in to the box should have brought more from Steven Jennings.

Ashton’s only sight of goal in the first half came when Matthew Chadwick drilled a low shot wide of Tony McMillan’s left hand post.

Warrington laid siege on the Ashton goal in the build up to half time, without gaining any reward.

Sanogo won the ball back with a superb tackle in midfield and was then released by Dylan Vassallo, playing a key role behind the striker, but took his shot early first time and it was saved by the legs of the busy David Carnell.

Then Scott Bakkor came across from the right, beat Carnell to the ball and was forced wide, screwing his shot over the bar as he fell over.

Bakkor then attempted to turn provider as he screwed a ball back to Sanogo, who shot first time straight at the keeper when either side probably would have found the back of the net.

The frustration of the home side was perhaps best summed up by a wild Sanogo effort on the stroke of half time which duly went out for a throw and in to the nearby canal.

The half time break didn’t stop Warrington’s continued dominance of the match. McDonald found some space in the box and when he was forced wide by the keeper, his pull back to Bakkor resulted in a shot that was cleared off the line, which subsequently ricocheted back off Sanogo and in to Carnell’s grateful hands.

Warrington’s best chance came shortly after the hour mark, Jamie McDonald played onside through the middle but his shot was weak and it was a comfortable save.

Substitute James Barrigan, fresh from playing for Wigan in the Checkatrade Trophy in midweek, then stormed down the left hand side and saw his goalbound shot blocked, and then came the killer blow.

A mistake by Evan Gumbs at the back was punished by the typically clinical Chadwick, who curled a left foot shot in to the far corner.
But within two minutes, the Yellows had restored parity, Vassallo’s inswinging corner from the right going in off Sanogo on 68 minutes.

McDonald thought he had finally given the Yellows the lead three minutes later, only for the linesman’s flag on the far side to be up for offside.

A curling free kick from Sean Williams then forced another good save by Carnell, this time via a strong connection by Sanogo, and again Warrington were frustrated.

Eventually the hosts ran out of steam and were forced to settle for another crack on Tuesday night.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, McKeown, Jennings, McCarten, Gumbs, Bakkor (Barrigan), Williams, McDonald, Vassallo (Gray), Sanogo. Unused subs: Goulding, Barnes, Ascroft.

Ashton United: Carnell, Smalley, Beesley, Lees, Chalmers, Platt, Roberts (Fawns), Tomsett, Chadwick, Dyche, Evangelinos (Pilkington). Unused subs: Khanye, Eckersley, Ollerenshaw.

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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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