WARRINGTON Town missed an opportunity to gain ground on their rivals as they were held to a goalless draw in a feisty affair with Marine.
The Yellows played half an hour with 10 men after substitute Jack Higgins was sent off barely five minutes after coming on.
But while they would have been happy not to concede with the numerical disadvantage, it would prove to be a chance missed as Altrincham, Shaw Lane and Workington all dropped points.
The New Year’s Day weather did little to encourage a game of quality, driving rain and wind throughout making conditions difficult.
Warrington started positively, a couple of crosses going in to the box and they perhaps should have done better when Jamie McDonald found some space inside the box and his clipped ball to the back post was too high for Tony Gray.
But aside from that start, it was largely a miserable afternoon for the Yellows and Marine were the better side for the rest of the first half.
They should have taken the lead on 25 minutes when a nice dummy on half way sent Danny Mitchley through on goal and he had lots of time and space to set himself, and in the end was denied one-on-one by Tony McMillan.
It was unlikely they would get a better chance that, and so it proved.
McMillan tipped a Liam Tongue free-kick over the bar but there wasn’t much else in the way of chances, the Yellows’ frustrations best summed up by a yellow card given to McDonald for kicking the ball away after he was penalised for a foul.
Marine started the second half strongest, and a crucial interception from Liam Goulding denied them an early chance.
The Yellows were struggling to put any sort of attacking play together though did have a brief sight of goal when Dylan Vassallo was found in a pocket of space just outside the D, but he opted to pass when perhaps a shot was on.
A tactical change saw Higgins enter the fray in place of Sean Williams, moving Goulding up to midfield, but that had barely had time to happen when Higgins was heading for an early bath.
A ball over the top landed for Dominic Reid and Higgins chasing back from being out of position on the left wiped him out and the referee had no option but to send him off for denying a goalscoring opportunity.
That triggered a hotly-tempered period of play where challenges were flying in and the Yellows were firmly on the back foot.
The best opening fell for substitute Max Hazeldine, who shot straight at the keeper when a pass was the better option.
Warrington did at least have some sighters towards the end, and a Will Hayhurst free-kick in injury time was spilled by the ‘keeper, with players and fans appealing that it had gone over the line, but the officials were unmoved, and both sides had to settle for a point.
Pictures John Hopkins
Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, McKeown, Jennings, McCarten, Goulding, Vassallo (Hamer), Williams (Higgins), McDonald (Kinsella), Gray, Hayhurst. Unused subs: Milne, Bakkor.
Marine: Fearon, Fylie, Short, Hughes, Baker, Smart, Reid (Hazeldine), Tongue, Mitchley, Middleton, Lomax. Unused subs: Bradshaw, Murray, Hassall, Mendes.