WARRINGTON Town continued their encouraging start to the New Year with a 2-0 win over Tranmere Rovers in the Cheshire Senior Cup.
Paul Carden made several changes to his team against his former employers from the National League, who brought a youthful side with them and were never really a match for the Yellows.
Goals came in either half from John Shaw and Scott Metcalfe (pictured) , but in reality the Yellows could have had five or six in a dominant display, which books a second round clash at Witton Albion.
Debutant Ruben Jerome looked handy up front for the home side, and he rattled the woodwork twice in the first half. There were also debuts for new signings Michael Monaghan and John Askew, who arrived from Blackburn on loan earlier this week.
It was an unusual looking line-up for the Yellows, with winger Scott Harries starting at right-back and the dependable Metcalfe slotting in to the centre of midfield.
It took 15 minutes for the first clear cut opening, Jerome running fearlessly at a couple of defenders and then unleashing a rasping shot that rattled the top of the goalkeeper’s left hand post.
Goalkeeper Luke Pilling then became the Yellows’ nemesis, first denying Jerome from a golden opportunity one-on-one, the striker racing through and decided to slot the ball to the left of the ‘keeper, but he was alert to it.
Pilling then denied Ben Deegan from point blank range, after the big front man had chested down the ball and shot goalwards from barely six yards.
Tranmere’s resolve was broken shortly after the half hour mark, a teasing inswinging corner by Dylan Vassallo was bundled in by centre-half Shaw, to ensure that Warrington didn’t succumb to an unwanted record of not scoring in cup competitions in a season for the first time in the club’s history.
The lead could have been doubled before the break, Jerome rattling the same post for a second time, this time with a curling shot as he tried to pick his spot in the top corner.
The visitors rallied at the start of the second half, and hit the woodwork themselves on the hour mark.
But the Yellows continued to have much of the play and the chances, with Deegan guilty of wasting a glorious opportunity when a defender gifted him possession on the edge of the box but the ball got stuck in his feet.
The second goal came barely a minute later, Harries finding plenty of space on the right and picking out the incoming Metcalfe, who guided the ball right footed past the keeper at the far post.
That enabled Carden to make use of the three young players on the bench, including prolific academy striker Euan Woods.
The Yellows closed out the game for a second successive 2-0 win, and ensure their unbeaten start to the New Year stretched to three.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Harries, Askew, Duggan, McCarten, Shaw, Monaghan (Hayes), Metcalfe (Glass), Jerome, Deegan (Woods), Vassallo.
Tranmere Rovers: Pilling, Cringle, Heron, Lucy, Fleming, J Devine, E Devine, Askew, Akpan (Selkeld), Croughan (Moreton), Medlen (Thompson). Unused subs: Wharton.