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Town Talk: Poor decisions rob Yellows of Wembley dream

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The advent of technology has a lot to answer for.

Now it even means that you can’t reflect on a game of non-league football without frustration and despair.

Warrington Town’s dreams of reaching the FA Trophy final at Wembley were ended with a 2-1 defeat at National League South Wealdstone on Saturday.

The late goal, an unfortunate fumble by Tony McMillan in what was a beach of a goalmouth, caused enough heartbreak, without then seeing video replays of other key incidents in the match that went a long way towards knocking Paul Carden’s men out of the competition.

An early disallowed goal for Jamie McDonald, who pounced on a rebound after Tony Gray’s shot had been tipped on to the post, didn’t really cause much of a reaction during the game itself, but the video replay certainly raises questions over the offside flag against him.

That “goal” came after just 12 minutes and at a time where the Yellows were looking very confident and assured, perhaps even more so than they had done away at National League Ebbsfleet last month.

The fact that both those teams have been drawn in to first half substitutions when facing the Yellows this season is testament to Carden and his troops.

As it was, having kept the score at 0-0, the hosts were able to get themselves back on track and their tactical switch on the half hour mark certainly changed the balance of the game in their favour.

But still, in the second half it was the Yellows who were having the better chances and they should have took the lead on a couple of occasions prior to the most controversial incident of the match.

It seemed fairly innocuous at the time, but the video replays show little if no contact with centre half Edward Oshodi before he dramatically fell in the box to win the penalty that would break the deadlock.

Watching those two incidents back leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

After the Yellows had prepared as professionally as possible once again, travelling down south the night before the game and putting the players up in a hotel – they would have taken the advantage to train at a local club had they not had to delay leaving time until 6pm to accommodate the players’ work commitments – it is a frustrating end to what had been an increasingly fascinating journey that had taken in 10 games in the competition this season.

In those 10 games were four replays, a penalty shoot out win, dramatic late goals for and against, and two opponents from higher leagues beaten.

The Yellows did themselves proud playing an assured brand of football, and they certainly impressed the home fans with the way they played the game on Saturday afternoon.

Young players like Liam Goulding and Dylan Vassallo continue to improve, while the tireless front two of Jamie McDonald and Tony Gray lead from the front.

Central midfielder Sean Williams has showed his worth during the campaign and players like left-back Rory McKeown have displayed just why they have notched up so many appearances at a much higher level than the Yellows currently play.

Some might have seen the FA Trophy exploits as a distraction from the primary goal of league promotion, but the encouragement, learnings and professionalism instilled from the cup run might be a long way to helping the Yellows navigate the play-off journey they are likely to require to make that jump in to National League North, the sixth tier of English football.

Full match highlights:

CLICK HERE for all the action pictures from John Hopkins

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About Author

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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