WARRINGTON Town returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory at Ossett Town, despite playing more than half an hour with 10 men.
Winger Scott Metcalfe (pictured top) notched his 20th goal of the season from the penalty spot and Chris Gahgan (right) added a second to put Shaun Reid’s side in control at the break.
But a straight red for midfielder Wayne Beattie, for an apparent elbow off the ball, gave the hosts a way back in to the game that ultimately they couldn’t take advantage of.
After suffering their first defeat of the New Year in agonising circumstances at home to Droylsden on Saturday, Reid brought back Craig Robinson in the centre of the Town defence, with Dean Astbury replacing Ben Wharton up front.
Top scorer Metcalfe had the game’s first chance on eight minutes, driving straight at Brad Dixon in the Ossett goal after David Mannix’s unselfish lay-off on the edge of the box.
Mannix had a hand in a neat move that led to another chance some 10 minutes later, spreading the ball out wide for Lewis Field, whose first time cross was chested down by Astbury for Burke to strike at goal. A defender got in the way, and the ball went behind for a corner.
The first flashpoint of the game then followed, when Metcalfe beat the onrushing goalkeeper to a loose ball, with Dixon handed a yellow card for his troubles. Mannix bent the resulting free kick well wide.
The half’s main talking point came on 37 minutes, when Metcalfe got the wrong side of his marker and was hauled down inside the box, despite the protests of the home players, who suggested contact had been minimal.
Penalty specialist Metcalfe dusted himself off and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way for his sixth penalty in the league this season.
Warrington seized the initiative and doubled their lead before the break. Metcalfe turned provider to find Gahgan on the left, and the diminutive winger rounded Dixon and slotted home.
Ossett started the second half positively, and Karl Wills was called in to serious action for the first time, holding a back post header from striker Nathan Curtis.
They were handed a further boost when the visitors were reduced to 10 men on 53 minutes as Beattie saw red.
Warrington reacted well to going a man down, and stood firm. Wills tipped over superbly from Curtis’ header shortly after the hour, and Richard Patterson, the man involved in the red card incident, fired wide from a good position.
It was a fourth consecutive away win for Town, and they are back in action at home to Farsley on Saturday.
Nathan Burke controls the ball
Ossett Town: Dixon, Lucas (Ovington), Jeff, Wood, Allott, Akeroyd, Merris, Patterson, Curtis (Wood), Cunningham, Armstrong (Whiteley). Unused subs: Cheeseman, Bartle.
Warrington: Wills, Field, Hardwick, Mannix, McCarten, Robinson, Beattie, Burke, Astbury (Wharton), Gahgan (Kinsella), Metcalfe (Tames). Unused subs: Corrigan, Collins.