IT was late heartbreak once again for Warrington Town as their FA Trophy campaign was ended by a 2-1 defeat at Wealdstone.
Daniel Green’s goal three minutes from time fired the National League South side through after Yellows debutant Joe Piggott looked to have secured a replay with his first touch barely five minutes prior.
Warrington would have been good value for a draw after putting in another assured performance and enjoyed the better chances before Wealdstone had took the lead through a contentious Green penalty on the hour mark.
In what was the Yellows’ tenth game in the competition this season, they started brightly keeping the ball well in the final third without really creating anything of note.
That changed on 10 minutes when a lovely dummy by Tony Gray on the right touchline created room for Gerard Kinsella to get a cross in, and it went all the way to Will Hayhurst, who shot straight at the ‘keeper from 12 yards when perhaps he could have done better.
They did have the ball in the net a minute later when Gray’s shot was tipped on to the post by ‘keeper Jonathan North, and though McDonald was able to sweep home the rebound, the linesman’s flag on the far side was up.
The Yellows looked more likely in the first quarter and such was the pattern of the game, that Wealdstone were drawn in to making a tactical substitution on the half hour mark, bringing on forward Daniel Fitchett for right-back Taofiq Olomowewe.
After that, the hosts gradually grabbed control of proceedings and though they were initially restricted to a couple of deep free kicks, they had a big opportunity to take the lead three minutes from half time. A ball through the middle evaded ex-Wealdstone defender Liam Goulding, captaining the Yellows in the absence of injured skipper James McCarten, releasing Fitchett on goal.
Rory McKeown desperately tried to get back at him and did enough to delay the shot, and in the end Tony McMillan was able to save with his legs.
Similar to the first half, after an initial feeling of each other out in the opening exchanges, the Yellows would have a strong period of play where they really should have taken the lead.
First, Williams chested down a clearance and hit a sweetly hit half volley from all of 25 yards that looked destined for the top corner until a fine stop by North.
The on 53 minutes, the Yellows really ought to have gone in front. McDonald’s flick found Gray in plenty of space in the box and his first time shot was well saved by North, and then Vassallo was twice denied on the line by a defender from the rebound.
McDonald dragged a shot wide but by the hour mark, you felt that maybe the Yellows had let past their best opportunity.
Either way, they will have been disappointed by the manner Wealdstone broke the deadlock. A poor clearance from Hayhurst, the villain last week for the injury time equaliser at Altrincham, kept the hosts alive and with Edward Oshodi causing problems in the box, he went down under a challenge from Higgins and the referee pointed to the spot, amidst protests from the men in yellow.
Up stepped Daniel Green and he sent McMillan the wrong way for 1-0.
As time ticked on, it looked like that might be that for Warrington’s FA Trophy run.
That was until debutant Joe Piggott, signed from Dundee United, was thrown on by Paul Carden on 81 minutes.
McKeown’s ball forward was flicked on by Higgins and Piggott found himself through on goal and with his first touch in a Yellows shirt, coolly slid the ball home in to the left corner.
But just as it looked destined for a fifth consecutive replay in the competition for Warrington, their hearts were broken.
Former Charlton midfielder Green got a shot away from the edge and though it looked like McMillan had it covered, the ball somehow squirmed out of his grasp and trickled over the line for 2-1 to cruelly end Warrington’s Wembley dream.
The Yellows are scheduled to be in action again on Tuesday night, when they travel to face Matlock Town in the league, before the re-arranged Cheshire Senior Cup game at Winsford United on Wednesday.
Wealdstone: North, Olomowewe (Fitchett), Okimo, Wilson, Oshodi, Wellard, Whichelow, Cox, Tiryaki (Goodger), Green, Artwell. Unused subs: Bonfield, Day, Sellers.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden (Piggott), McKeown, Williams, Higgins, Goulding, Kinsella (Milne), Vassallo, McDonald, Gray, Hayhurst (Barnes). Unused subs: Beeley, Bakkor.
These late heartbreaks for Warrington Town are getting a bit too common. Wembley dream is over. Deserved a draw at least after another accomplished performance by the young team. https://t.co/tVTc0koX8I
— James Gordon (@jdgsport) February 3, 2018
— Contratti Contracts (@contratti_uk) February 3, 2018
— Lewis Roberts (@Kopites_views) February 3, 2018
— Orion Coaches (@OCoaches) February 3, 2018
@theyellows Well played and what an achievement to get to the last 16 of the @FATrophy Unlucky guys and now lets look towards securing that playoff spot @paulcardy4 @ChairmanWTFC onwards and upwards ⚽️⚽️
— Rob Warburton (@Rwarby2001) February 3, 2018