WARRINGTON Town came from two goals down to grab a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Trafford at Cantilever Park last night.
But Town finished the game with just nine men after Anthony Hickey and Sam Finley both saw red.
Town handed a second debut to goal keeper Mike Langley, who recently re-signed for the club from league rivals Prescot Cables, after losing first choice keeper Chris Oldfield to a trial at championship outfit Leicester City. Warrington started slowly and soon found themselves behind, Trafford midfielder Warren Collier glancing home a free kick from inside the penalty area.
Town looked to get back into the game immediately, neat interplay from Town saw Chris Gahgan played through, only to be thwarted by a linesman’s flag. Town equalised in the 13th minute, Allan Collins beating Trafford goalkeeper Andy Robertson to the ball to head Jamie Henders’ fine cross home into the empty net.
But three minutes later the visitors re-took the lead, Trafford full back Andy Smart, seeing his long range curling free kick go in off the upright.
In what was a very open game, both sides attacked but a lack of quality saw defences on top for a time until Trafford striker Joe Shaw saw his long range drive go under Langley and into the net. Once again, Town immediately looked to get back into the game, going close when striker Anthony Hickey saw his shot deflect into the side netting, with many inside the ground thinking it had found the corner of the net.
Right on half time, Town managed to get a goal back, Henders receiving the ball with his back to goal after good play by his team mates, before spinning and shooting low beyond Robertson at his near post from six yards to make it 2-3 at the break.
Town started the second half in determined fashion, looking to find an equalising goal that their play deserved. Henders headed narrowly over the cross bar early on.
The introduction of Louis Corrigan from the substitute bench, in place of Gahgan, gave Town a fresh sense of impetus going forward. Town went close soon after with the Trafford defence narrowly managing to scramble away Allan Collins excellent teasing centre.
Warrington were now in control of the game, having the majority of possession and territory but not really creating much in the way of definite goalmouth chances. With 20 minutes to go, Town went close to finding a deserved equaliser, Collins seeing his shot on the spin, well saved low by Robertson, who was quick to pounce on the rebound as the Town players converge on the ball.
Midfielder Finley went close soon after with a fine curling effort that Robertson was only able to palm away to the safety of his own defenders. As the clock ran down, Town continued to create the best of the chances and looked like the side most likely to score, Anthony Hickey seeing his far post header deflected behind by the Trafford rearguard before Finley shot wide from the resulting corner.
The visitors were never out of the game, with striker Michael Oates forcing Langley to tip his looping effort over the bar and behind for a corner. The game sparked into life with two minutes left on the clock, Hickey seeing a second yellow card, after reacting angrily when Trafford defender Kevin McGrath won a soft free kick from referee Mr Wilson.
With the game a minute into injury time, Town finally got their deserved equaliser, when Finley picked up a loose ball before driving forward and unleashing a powerful drive into the corner, which gave Robertson no chance. There was still time for Town to be reduced to nine men, when Finley saw a straight red card for a challenge on Trafford defender Andy Smart, which sparked a melee amongst the two sides.
Town: Mike Langley (c) Duffy, Cross, Humphreys, Hardwick (c), Hamid (Wade,80), Collins, Finley, Henders (Thompson, 71), Hickey, Gahgan (Corrigan, 54), subs not used: Shipton, Jackson
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