Former striker haunts Town in injury time

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FORMER striker Ciaran Kilheeney returned to haunt Warrington Town with an injury-time winner as Droylsden snatched a 4-3 victory at the Winner Recruitment Stadium.
Kilheeney kept his cool in the 94th minute to beat Robbie Johnson courtesy of a deflection for his hat-trick and to complete a turnaround from 3-2 behind in a topsy-turvy encounter.
Warrington, beaten 3-1 in the return fixture on the eve of their glorious FA Cup win over Exeter City, hit the front inside two minutes.
Winger Scott Metcalfe was released through on goal from the left side and as he was about to pull the trigger, was brought down and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
Metcalfe dusted himself off and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way with the resulting penalty to give Town a 1-0 lead.
A minute later, the ball was in the net again, as Metcalfe got away down the left and this time put in a superb cross in for Ben Wharton, who finished well, only to be denied by an offside flag on the far side.
Droylsden gradually recovered from their disastrous start, and winger Michael Monaghan was causing the hosts problems.
It was from the other side that the equalising goal came though, as Andy Fowler’s curling cross held up at the back post for Ben Deegan to hang for and nod down, with Steve Hall finishing instinctively from eight yards out.
There had been chances at both ends before Kilheeney took over. First, Chris Gahgan weaved his way through and shot right at the goalkeeper, and then Danny Ting curled a free-kick just over the bar for Droylsden.
It was on 38 minutes that Kilheeney scored his first goal, afforded too much time in the box from Monaghan’s pull back, and firing past Johnson, deputising for the suspended Karl Wills in the Town goal.
Droylsden went in to half time with a 2-1 advantage, but Warrington responded well at the break.
Tom Hardwick headed narrowly over from Louis Corrigan’s corner, and the introduction of Stephen Tames started to stretch the visitor’s defence.
The equaliser came shortly before the hour mark, as top scorer Metcalfe claimed his second goal. His chested first touch from Gahgan’s hooked past opened the angle, and he made no mistake across Craig Ellison.
The turnaround was complete 10 minutes later when Dean Astbury was introduced from the bench and was on the scoresheet within a minute. Metcalfe played the ball in to Tames’ feet, and his flick released Astbury who opened up and drilled in to the back of the net.
Tames had a glorious opportunity to put the game to bed on 78 minutes, springing the offside trap to collect Astbury’s through ball, but he slotted his shot just wide of the goal.
As Town sought to close the game out, Droylsden were handed a lifeline when they were awarded a penalty on 84 minutes as Hardwick brought down Deegan. Kilheeney drilled the ball home for 3-3.
And it turned in to the perfect return to his old stomping ground for Kilheeney as he raced away in injury time and managed to get a shot towards goal, deflected beyond Johnson to grab the three points and put a big dent in Warrington’s play-off hopes.
Warrington: Johnson, Field, Corrigan, Mannix, McCarten, Hardwick, Beattie (Tames), Burke, Wharton (Astbury), Gahgan (Booth), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Robinson, Kinsella.
Droylsden: Ellison, Brown, Ting, Kerr, Hampson, Dogan, Monaghan, Hall (Doran), Kilheeney, Deegan, Fowler. Unused subs: McNamara, McLaughlin, Murphy, Saunders.

Manager Shaun Reid and Chairman Toby Macormac collect the Evo-Stik team of the month award for January from Clive Timmins from Bostick UK


Striker Ben Wharton

Chris Gahgan


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. 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. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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