WARRINGTON Town were brought back down to earth with a bump as they were thrashed 4-0 at Skelmersdale.
The Yellows were as bad as they had been brilliant in midweek, as a combination of individual errors and injuries contributed to an embarrassing defeat.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, Warrington crumbled in the second half as they failed to build on the highest league position in the club’s history.
Skelmersdale controlled the game from start to finish to record only their second win of the season.
The game started off badly for the Yellows, with the inspirational Danny Ventre forced off injured inside four minutes – himself deputising for missing centre-half John Shaw.
With Daniel O’Donnell not fully fit on the bench, it meant the introduction of winger Aaron Knight and an unscheduled reshuffle for Stuart Mellish which saw Scott Metcalfe drop to left back and Andy Nicholas move inside.
There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides in the first 15 minutes, but an error would lead to the opening goal of the game.
The otherwise excellent James McCarten failed to clear his lines towards the right touchline, and striker Callum Mahoney, a constant menace to the Yellows defence, won the ball back and teed up Connor Almond for a shot, that ‘keeper Karl Wills could only push away with his legs straight to Benito Lowe for a tap-in.
Warrington eventually settled in to the game and had their best chance just before the half hour mark, Ciaran Kilheeney and Gerard Kinsella sharing a one-two before the latter curled a left-foot shot that was pushed away by the ‘keeper.
Substitute Knight also had a chance, cutting in from the left and forcing the ‘keeper to beat another one away, and the Yellows went in to the break with their tails up despite being a goal down.
Just as in the first half, the Yellows’ gameplan was disrupted by injury just three minutes in to the second, winger Scott Harries hobbling off to be replaced this time by O’Donnell, forcing another reshuffle.
By the time Warrington had settled after that setback, they were two down. Kenny Strickland’s corner was caught by Wills, but the goalkeeper spilled the ball over his line with a couple of men around him and Skelmersdale had doubled their lead in the softest fashion.
That goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the visitors and it gave the home side confidence to kick on.
They almost forced a second own goal on the hour mark, Tom Ince’s low cross diverted on to his own cross bar by Nicholas.
Warrington tried to change the tempo, bringing on Steven Gillespie for Knight, but within a minute it was three.
Metcalfe’s poor corner was cleared by Skelmersdale and all of a sudden they had a two on one against Peter Wylie, and that meant the excellent Paul Woolcott left in acres of space on the right and he didn’t need a second invitation to convert the chance.
That killed the game as a contest, and things got from bad to worse for the Yellows in the final quarter.
McCarten was booked, his fifth of the campaign, which rules him out of next Saturday’s league game against Workington, before Skelmersdale added a fourth through Ince.
It was an afternoon to forget for Mellish’s men, who return to action against league leaders Buxton on Tuesday night at Cantilever Park.
Skelmersdale: Fearon, Davies, Holden, Lowe, Mahoney, Strickland, Mooney, Woolcott, Wall, Almond, Ince. Unused subs: Fernandes, Hodkinson, Burns, Akrigg, Priestley.
Warrington: Wills, Wylie, Nicholas, Lenighan, McCarten, Ventre (Knight (Gillespie)), Harries (O’Donnell), Kinsella, Kilheeney, Peers, Metcalfe. Unused subs: Grogan, Cook.