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Town Talk: “The sort of performance that wins you leagues”

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“The sort of performance that wins you leagues”, were the words of Warrington Town programme editor Paul Roach after the Yellows’ latest triumph at Whitby Town on Tuesday night.

Jack Mackreth’s goal 10 minutes from time kept up his own personal record of having won every league game he has played for the Yellows, a feat he shares with Dave Raven.

That run now stretches to seven games, while the Yellows have gone a remarkable nine league games (and a half) without conceding a goal, dating back to the 3-1 win at Lancaster City on August 21.

Tuesday’s trip to the north east coast provided one of the most stern tests that Paul Carden’s men have faced all season, and while it was far from a vintage performance, they went away with the three points.

While Whitby may have had the better of the play in the second half, it was the Yellows who went closest to scoring, when Jake Kirby struck a post, before Mackreth’s decisive intervention having come on off the bench.

The Yellows are entering a tough period, a big FA Cup game at home to Halifax next weekend could result in the significant distraction of a FA Cup first round proper tie, though having said that, that won’t be as much of a novelty to this group of players as the squads of the past.

There’s the FA Trophy, in which Warrington did very well last season, plus the possibility of replays.

Indeed, while the current run stretches back almost two months, Warrington have only played 11 league games, and with 31 still to go, there is a lot of football still to be played.

But all you can do is focus on your games, and if they keep not conceding goals, and keep winning, it will take a big job to hunt them down.

Even with defeat on Saturday they will remain in the top two, currently sitting a point behind Scarborough, who have played two games more, and four points ahead of Basford United, who have played three games more.

Matlock will be far more difficult opposition than their current league position suggests. The Derbyshire outfit are 19th with just three wins from 12, but have been rebuilding under recently appointed manager Dave Frecklington.

In Marcus Marshall, they have a pacey winger-cum-striker who has already notched five goals this season and will be familiar to Yellows flier Mackreth, having both played together at Grimsby Town in 2015/16.

They’ve paid out a transfer fee to bring in former Leicester winger Craig King, from Alfreton Town, while veteran forward Craig Westcarr is well travelled and scores goals, including a hat-trick in a recent win at North Ferriby.

Centre back Lee Beevers has extensive Football League experience, with the likes of Ipswich, Colchester and Walsall, as does his defensive partner Cleveland Taylor, who returned to the club from Coalville in September.

Another one to look at for is diminutive striker Jamie Jackson, who has the talent but hasn’t quite been able to settle during a nomadic career that started at Chesterfield.

If ever there was a league match that looked like a banana skin, then this might be it for Warrington, against a Matlock side who will still have ambitions to shrug off their slow start and reach the play-offs.

A clean sheet would help Warrington reach an incredible 16 hours without conceding a league goal, thought to be a league record – and possibly a record for all north west clubs ever, as a feature with ITV Granada is set to explore next week.

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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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