Pictures John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town recorded a much needed 2-0 win over Skelmersdale United to make it two games unbeaten in the New Year.
Goals in either half from Samuel Ilesamni and Lewis Codling earned three points for Paul Carden’s injury hit side, which is set to be boosted by the signings of Michael Monaghan and Ruben Jerome announced in the build-up to the game.
Lowly Skelmersdale had hammered the Yellows 4-0 in the reverse fixture, in arguably the lowest moment of the season, but they never looked likely to make a repeat of that on a cold January afternoon at Cantilever Park.
They did, however, have the first sighting of goal early on, nippy Dean Shacklock getting in behind John Shaw and firing a well-struck shot goal wards on the bounce which goalkeeper Tony McMillan did well to beat away strongly.
Gradually Warrington gained control of the match, with midfield duo Codling and Danny Ventre controlling the play. The former had a shot that was deflected wide, which prompted a flurry of corners from the hosts, from which the closest they came was when James McCarten’s improvised header looped up and was pushed over by the ‘keeper.
The deadlock was broken halfway through the first half, and it came from a corner, Ilesamni finding the back of the net with a header.
The score remained at 1-0 until half-time, and the second half started in the same vein, with Warrington controlling the play without really creating a great deal in the form of chances.
Dylan Vassallo, playing on the right side, was a threat and he pounced on a mistake by former Warrington defender Peter Wylie to create a chance that almost saw a defender turn the ball in to his own net.
Vassallo had a hand in the decisive second goal on the hour mark, his near post free kick picking up Codling’s perfectly timed run and he headed home past the ‘keeper.
That second goal felt crucial and perhaps made Skelmersdale’s task greater than they would have liked.
They did fire a warning 24 minutes from time when Alex Davies got down the right hand side and drilled a shot in to the side netting.
The visitors should have maybe made things interesting in the final 15 minutes when Shacklock beat the offside trap and raced in on McMillan, only to hesitate, be caught by a defender and then set-up Kenny Strickland to fire over the bar.
The win is Warrington’s 12th in the league this season and keeps their play-off hopes alive.
National League team Tranmere Rovers visit Cantilever Park on Tuesday night for a Cheshire Senior Cup tie.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Gumbs, Metcalfe, Ventre, McCarten, Shaw, Harries, Codling, Kilheeney (Deegan), Ilesamni, Vassallo. Unused subs: Carden, Robinson, Hattersley.
Skelmersdale United: Cheetham, Davies (Cameron), Grivosti, Hollitt, Wylie, Jefferies, Mooney (Joe Nicholson), Strickland, Josh Nicholson, Shacklock, Vaughan-Muscat (Mason). Unused subs: Bradshaw, Calloway.
A win and the points were the main thing today+another clean sheet,we’ve played better & lost so we take that all day -onwards & upwards
— Paul Carden (@paulcardy4) January 21, 2017