A YOUNG Warrington Town side were beaten on penalties by Runcorn Linnets in the first round of the Integro League Cup.
Louis Corrigan’s penalty on the stroke of half time had cancelled out Robbie Evans’ earlier free kick, and the score remained 1-1 at 90 minutes.
That meant a penalty shootout, and despite initially taking an advantage in the spotkicks, misses by Josh Amis and Jacob Shield meant the Linnets prevailed 5-4 in sudden death to progress to round two.
It was an unfamiliar Yellows line-up, with just four recognised first teamers starting, including Luke George and Jack Dunn coming back from injury.
In teeming rain, former Yellows loanee Connor McCarthy was trying his hardest to cause problems for the Linnets up front and he produced a sharp stop by stand-in keeper Joe Williams.
At the other end, Manadie Sherrif showed good technique in hitting a half volley just wide after Dunn had won an aerial challenge in the box.
The work ethic of Josh Amis helped create Warrington’s opener on 35 minutes, he intercepted a pass in the Linnets defensive third and he was then wiped out at the side of the penalty area, and from the resulting free-kick, Evans struck inside the near post.
Linnets could have levelled twice before half-time, first when Liam Collings bundled through and struck the outside of the post, and then when McCarthy got away in the right channel and should have done better rather than shoot tamely at Williams.
McCarthy had two penalty appeals waved away but it proved third time lucky in first half injury time, going down after an apparent pull by Yellows centre-half Peter Marretti, and up stepped former Warrington full-back Corrigan to dispatch the penalty.
The Yellows had the better of the opening exchanges after the break, both Amis and Dunn going close, but it would be Linnets who finished strongly, Williams saving well from Michael Simpson.
The game eventually went to penalties, with Williams pushing Danny O’Brien’s spotkick wide to give Warrington a 2-1 advantage after two kicks.
But Amis hit his penalty in to Matthew Holmes’ legs, and though Tom Summers kept the Yellows alive to send it to sudden death, Shield fired his against the bar to send the Linnets through.
Warrington are in FA Cup action on Saturday, away at Consett in the second qualifying round.
Runcorn Linnets: Holmes, Corrigan, Wylie, Dobie, O’Brien, R McCarthy (Potter), Simpson (Hamid), Collings (Shanley), C McCarthy, Sherlock, Evans. Unused subs: Morris, Nolan.
Warrington Town: Williams, Banks (Summers), Shield, George (Duggan), Marretti, Benjamin, Arnaslan, Evans (Mulholland), Amis, Sherrif, Dunn. Unused subs: Carden, McMillan.