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Missed opportunity in Yellows stalemate

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Pictures John Hopkins

WARRINGTON Town wasted a glorious chance to put pressure on league leaders Altrincham as they were held to a goalless draw at Stafford Rangers.

The Yellows failed to test Stafford’s makeshift ‘keeper Levi Reid, a midfielder who came on in goal during the second half, until the last minute of injury time when he saved with his legs from Jack Higgins and Jamie McDonald fired over the rebound.

It was a lacklustre display in a match broken up by plenty of niggly fouls, where the action was bookended by the only two shots on target in the entire match.

The first came in the opening minute as the Yellows kicked off and worked their way in to the box, McDonald denied low by ‘keeper Bradley Caswell, who was a target of his manager’s ire for much of the first half.

Rory McKeown’s long throws were causing some half openings for the Yellows, from one Will Hayhurst, in the team for Shaun Beeley, scuffed a shot wide of the keeper’s right hand post.

Sean Williams hit one over the bar after a nice counter attack move, while at the other end Massiah McDonald curled one just wide of Luke Pilling’s goal.

Those in attendance would have hoped for improvements in the second half but it was movements off the pitch that caught the attention in the early knockings, Caswell hauled off on 53 minutes to be replaced by former Port Vale midfielder Reid.

But the Yellows didn’t make the most of the situation, and he barely had a touch.

There wasn’t much happening at the other end either and it was eight minutes from time until either side had a decent look at goal, substitute Joe Piggott having a shot blocked and then Matias Bakare shanking the loose ball over from a good position.

It looked like the game would run down as a stalemate until the fifth minute of injury time when Liam Goulding released McDonald and the striker cut inside, dummied a few times and then laid off for Higgins, who drew the first save out of Reid.

But it was the rebound that fell for McDonald that was perhaps the better chance, the striker hitting over the bar and the Yellows had to settle for a point.

It was more a case of two points dropped than one point gained, with leaders Altrincham going down 3-2 at home to Workington and fellow play-off rivals Ashton United losing against Coalville.

Warrington now have consecutive home games against Grantham Town and Hednesford Town on Saturday and Tuesday.

Stafford Rangers: Caswell (L Reid), Griffiths, K Westwood, Morris, Brown, Craddock, I Reid (Abadaki), Sherratt, Waite (Perry), Thompson-Brown. Unused subs: Thomas, D Westwood.

Warrington Town: Pilling, Carden, McKeown, Jennings, Higgins, Goulding, Green (Bakare), Williams, McDonald, Gray (Barnes), Hayhurst (Piggott). Unused subs: Davis, McMilan.

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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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