Pictures John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town’s winless run stretches to five games after they were held to a goalless draw by Nantwich Town at Cantilever Park.
It could have been worse but for two superb stops by Luke Pilling in the closing stages of the match as both sides pushed for a winner.
It’s now three draws and two defeats for the Yellows since they moved within a point of Altrincham at the top of the table three weeks ago, and boss Paul Carden kept his players on the pitch for a dressing down after the game.
Searching for an end to the run that has virtually ended their title hopes, the Yellows were boosted by Liam Goulding passing a fitness test to start after he had suffered a knock in the defeat at Nantwich on Saturday.
It was the visitors who looked the more likely in the opening period, Daniel Griggs causing problems down the left hand side.
Their best chance came five minutes from the break when Briggs got to the byline and pulled back for Sam Wakefield, sent off on Saturday, but he snatched at the chance when he had more time than he thought.
Griggs nearly found the net himself on the stroke of half time, a strange looping shot being tipped over the bar by a scrambling Luke Pilling.
The Yellows were sent out early for the second half and they made a lively start, a period of sustained pressure ending when a stretching Sean Williams shot straight at Myles Boney.
Boney, who had sustained an injury in the first half, limped on in the Nantwich goal and was almost left with egg on his face when he came well out his goal and completely missed a long ball forward, though he was fortunate to have a defender covering with Mekhi Leacock-McLeod waiting to pounce.
It looked like it would be the Yellows who would snatch the three points as time went on, Joe Piggott poked wide from eight yards out after Adam Carden’s free kick had dropped in the box and then Jamie McDonald’s weak header was comfortably saved by the ‘keeper.
As the game entered the last five minutes, Warrington had the territory, a corner from Will Hayhurst just didn’t drop for Jack Higgins, who was causing trouble having been chucked forward.
But as the Yellows pushed, they were vulnerable on the break and they were nearly dealt a killer blow when Tobias Mullarkey was put through one-on-one with Pilling, who saved superbly with his trailing led.
And the on-loan Tranmere ‘keeper was called upon again a minute later when former Yellows midfielder Joe Mwasile released Casper Hughes, and his well struck shot was beaten out for a corner.
The game had come to life in the dying stages and in injury time, Carden’s floated free-kick was flapped at by Boney on the penalty spot, and Hayhurst lobbed the ball goalwards but with not enough power, and a Nantwich defender was able to clear.
Then Rory McKeown’s cross was cleared only as far as Leacock-McLeod, who controlled and struck a well-hit volley, but Boney stood tall and was able to claim, secure his clean sheet and ensure the game remained a stalemate.
Warrington are now under all sorts of pressure in the play-off spots from Ashton United and Farsley Celtic, who both won on Tuesday night, though third placed Grantham Town did slip to defeat.
The Yellows face two tricky away games in three days later this week, with a trip to Whitby on Thursday followed by a trip to Farsley on Saturday, before a home game against another play-off chasing outfit, Shaw Lane, next Tuesday.
Warrington Town: Pilling, Carden, McKeown, Jennings (Leacock-McLeod), Higgins, Goulding, Beeley (Kinsella), Williams, McDonald, Piggott, Bakare (Hayhurst). Unused subs: Barnes, Makinson.
Nantwich Town: Boney, Morgan, Wildin, Stair, Bourne, Mullarkey, Mwasile, Hughes, Wakefield (McDonald), Davies, Griggs. Unused subs: Davies, Boyle, Leigh, Burzynski.