New Mills put big dent in Town play-off hopes

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Warrington Town 1-3 New Mills, by James Gordon

LOWLY New Mills hammered a significant nail in Warrington Town’s play-off coffin as they came from behind to win 3-1 at the Winner Recruitment Stadium.
The visitors had won just once away from home all season, and fell behind to Nathan Burke’s goal inside two minutes before mounting a comeback that leaves Town eight points off a play-off place with eight games to play.
After Brandon Windsor levelled before the break, goals from Rhys Nevins and Daniel Forde in the second half gave New Mills’ hopes of avoiding relegation a real boost, to the disappointment of the home fans who made their discontent apparent at the final whistle.
It had all started so perfectly for Town, who hit the front barely more than 60 seconds in. Stephen Tames, who was excellent in Saturday’s win over Kendal, took the ball down the right channel and put in a good ball across the box that Burke (pictured top) adjusted well to tap home past the opposition goalkeeper.
New Mills ‘keeper Liam Higginbotham had a shaky opening quarter to the game, and Warrington perhaps should have tested him more, the only real shot on goal of note coming from Robbie Booth, his left-footed drive almost wrong-footing the man between the posts.
New Mills had already fired a warning to Town before they got the equaliser, when Lee O’Brien missed with a free header from inside the box.
Their first goal came when Ben Wharton lost the ball in a promising position inside the New Mills half, and the visitors hit Town on the counter attack – Ross Needham taking the ball to the byline and getting a low cross in which Windsor managed to get on the end of and squeeze home past Karl Wills, who was seemingly troubled by a niggling injury throughout the match.
By now Warrington had lost their rhythm, and a change in system failed to create a change in fortune. The half time whistle couldn’t have come sooner for the hosts, who nearly fell behind before the break when the offside flag denied Windsor his second.
It took eight second half minutes until New Mills hit the front, with Nevins allowed to surge through midfield and then finish well past Wills.
Warrington showed little in response, only the hard-working Tames continuing his recent run in form looking to create anything. His ball across the box deserved better from Burke and Wharton waiting in the box.
The killer blow came on 71 minutes, when Needham whipped in a cross from the left which was headed home by an unmarked Forde from close range.
On came Chris Gahgan, Gerard Kinsella and Anthony Hickey for Town in the final quarter, but a goal never came.
The closest they got was when Burke couldn’t quite get a clean connection on a Gahgan cross, before a double save by Higginbotham at the death denied Burke and Hickey when a goal looked certain.
The defeat leaves Warrington’s play-off hopes in tatters ahead of Saturday’s trip to Spennymoor – although they do have next Tuesday’s Doodson Sport Cup semi-final at home to Ilkeston to look forward to.
Warrington: Wills, Field, Corrigan (Hickey), Mannix, McCarten, Hardwick, Beattie (Kinsella), Burke, Wharton (Gahgan), Tames, Booth. Unused subs: Turner, Collins.
New Mills: Higginbotham, Hopper, Moss, Jones, Barrett, Chalmer, Nevins, Forde, Windsor (Hampson), O’Brien, Needham (Roberts-Nurse). Unused subs: Owolasi, Fitton, Tuanzebe.

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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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