WARRINGTON Town made it two wins from two over the Bank Holiday weekend with a 4-0 drubbing of Marine.
Two Sean Williams penalties, plus goals from Josh Hine and Connor Hughes earned the Yellows their fourth win from the opening six games of the season and saw them climb back to the top of the table.
It had been a tight affair in the first half, with only Hine’s goal separating the two sides at the break, but Paul Carden’s men flexed their muscles with a commanding second half display to score three after the break for the second successive away game.
Carden made one change to the team that beat Matlock Town 2-0 on Saturday, Caleb Richards stepping in for Brad Barnes, missing with a tight hamstring.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition ranks, Marine lining up with no fewer than six former Warrington players, including Billy Smart and Scott Bakkor who ended last season at Cantilever Park.
The early threat came from two wasted free-kicks by the Yellows’ Sean Williams, though team-mate Dylan Vassallo fared much better on 16 minutes when his lovely delivery from the left was missed by Tony Gray in a great position.
Marine winger James Murray was causing the visitors problems and they forced several corners, one of which was headed over by former Yellows defender Michael Grogan.
Vassallo, playing in the number 10 role, looked most likely to create something for the Yellows and he twice put in delightful through balls for Hughes, the first resulting in Hughes going down for a penalty that was rightly not given.
He managed to get a shot on target with the second, though it didn’t have enough power and James Short was able to get back and clear off the line.
Despite that, Marine would have felt upbeat about the opening half hour of the game and will have been disappointed to fall behind, which they did on 33 minutes.
Williams’ deep corner was fired back across goal by Phil Baker and Hine was on hand to divert in to the back of the net from eight yards.
Marine could have gone in to the break on level terms, Vincent Bailey’s shot skidding off the turf and rattling Tony McMillan’s left hand post with the ‘keeper well beaten, and then Danny Mitchley fired over with what would ultimately be his last act in the gap before hobbling off injured.
There was still time for another chance for the Yellows in an unusually lengthy first half stoppage time, a terrific inswinging corner by Vassallo flashing right across the face of goal.
The second half largely belonged to Hughes, who regularly caused problems for the hosts from his position on the left.
The warning signs were already there before the key moment in the game on the hour mark, when Hughes nipped in, took it round the ‘keeper and was certain to score but for the outstretched leg of ‘keeper Ben Barnes who brought him down.
The penalty was awarded and Barnes was perhaps fortunate to escape with just a yellow card, owing to the new ruling. He did get a good hand on the penalty but couldn’t deny Williams, who doubted Warrington’s lead.
Then on 68 minutes, virtually the same move had Hughes in behind again and this time he took the ball on and finished well to the keeper’s left.
The game was well and truly over as a contest and Warrington added icing on the cake on 80 minutes with another penalty, this time after former Yellows right-back Peter Wylie had felled substitute Joe Mwasile.
Williams stepped up again, this time dispatching a cracking penalty to the keeper’s right, his third successful spot kick of the season so far.
The good news continued for the Yellows, as long-term injury victim Gerard Kinsella made his long-awaited return as a substitute for Tony Gray.
Warrington are next in action this Saturday in the FA Cup first qualifying round against Grimsby Borough at Cantilever Park (3pm kick-off).
Marine: Barnes, Wylie, Short, Hughes, Grogan, Smart, Bakkor (Edgar), Brewster, Mitchley (Hassall), Bailey, Murray. Unused subs: Strickland, Shaw, Kisimba.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Goulding, McKeown, Richards, McCarten, Baker, Hine, Williams, Gray (Kinsella), Vassallo (Sanogo), Hughes (Mwasile). Unused subs: Carden, Ascroft.
Pictures John Hopkins