Yellows hold higher league Tamworth in FA Trophy


WARRINGTON Town kept their FA Trophy dreams alive with a well-deserved 2-2 draw at Tamworth.

A lovely goal by Dylan Vassallo was sandwiched by a Aman Verma brace as Tamworth edged an entertaining first half 2-1 on their artificial pitch in the Midlands.

But Jamie McDonald’s second half equaliser means the National League North side must visit Cantilever Park on Tuesday night to decide the tie.

Vassallo had the first chance of the game on seven minutes, curling a free-kick close to the right corner of the penalty area goalwards and it was well tipped over the bar by a stretching Shaun Rowley.

But the manner of the opening goal of the game on 11 minutes, suggested their higher league opponents may have too much for them.

Darryl Knights was finding all sorts of early space down the Tamworth left and he cut on to his right foot to clip the ball in to the box and a charging Verma met it with his head to open the scoring.

They almost had a second minutes later as the Yellows were caught napping from a short corner, and in the end a first time effort by Ben Fox was deflected over.

The hosts must have thought that goal would break the Yellows resolve, but far from it and instead the 468 in attendance were treated to an excellent cup tie.

The equaliser came on 21 minutes and in some style too as a ball up to McDonald was headed back to the busy Barrigan, who played it back in to McDonald’s feet and his flick around the corner found Vassallo inside the box and he finished well right footed in to the far corner.

A couple of loose moments at the back, most notably when Tony McMillan’s clip to the right was intercepted, came to nothing, while the closest the Yellows came was when a Sean Williams free-kick fell wide of the far post.

The hosts would go in to half time in the lead though, a fairly routine free-kick from half way by Ellis Deeney was headed in to an empty net by Verma after an ill-judged call by the usually reliable McMillan.

They sought to protect that lead in the second half without really looking at adding a third, and the visitors’ confidence grew.

Vassallo was enjoying the freedom and flatness of the pitch and he twice weaved his way out of tricky situations on the right before delivering a cross in to the middle that was cleared.

On the other wing, Barrigan was seeing more and more of the ball as time wore on and he took a 30-yard snapshot that had the ‘keeper stretching.

As Town pressed, the counter attack looked like it could leave them exposed but they finally got the reward their second half efforts deserved on 76 minutes.

Vassallo won and took a corner, it was headed back in to the danger zone by Liam Goulding and McDonald was there to hook home.

All the momentum was with the Yellows and moments later they had a glorious opportunity to take the lead, Rory McKeown charging down the left and pulling back for Barrigan, who rode a couple of tackles and then struck against the post.

With substitutes in hand, the Yellows were able to close the game out and also hand a debut to Desire Simpson, and will now have another go at home on Tuesday night.

Dylan Vassallo scores – Picture John Hopkins

Seam Williams in action – picture John Hopkins

Tamworth: Rowley, Burns, Morley, Deeney, Jones, Lane, Upton, Verma, Kotwica (Taylor), Fox, Knights (Powell). Unused subs: Reid, Shaw, Coulson.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, McKeown, Barnes, McCarten, Goulding, Williams, Vassallo (Bakkor), McDonald (Higgins), Gray, Barrigan (Simpson). Unused subs: Davis, Ascroft.


About Author

Journalist and sport content specialist, who is also editor of Love Rugby League. Formerly ran the official website of the Carling Cup, as well as operating a digital services business in Warrington.

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