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Kirby snatches it late for Warrington Town

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Pictures John Hopkins

JAKE Kirby scored a late winner as Warrington Town completed the double over Hyde United with a 2-1 win at Cantilever Park.

It had looked like the Yellows would be frustrated at home for the second successive Saturday having took the lead, but they were rewarded for their second half efforts as they secured only their second win in the last six league games.

Tony Gray had earlier given them the lead before Nicky Platt’s free-kick brought the Tigers level five minutes before the break.

Attempts to bring in a new striker in time for the game were foiled, so the Yellows started with Bohan Dixon just behind Gray and Josh Amis returning to the bench.

A lively opening set the tone for most of an entertaining first half, with Luke Porritt finding some early space to get away down the left and his teasing ball in just couldn’t be brought in my Tom Pratt.

Porritt would be Hyde’s main outlet on the left hand side, and he looked dangerous every time he got the ball.

The visitors did otherwise seem happy to let the Yellows have the ball and hit them on the break, Bohan Dixon dropped his shoulder to find space and played a ball through for Jack Mackreth who was beaten to it by the otherwise excellent Kyle Brownhill who almost wildly diverted it in to his own net.

After Gray’s cross was cleared at the second attempt by John McCombe, Porritt once again caused problems following a misjudgement by Mitch Duggan and Connor Simpson’s effort was watched wide by Charlie Albinson.

The deadlock would be broken on 18 minutes, a corner was only half cleared by Hyde and Kirby’s pull back was steered home by Gray via a deflection.

It was nearly two in spectacular fashion five minutes later as Dixon wrapped his foot around the ball from at least 25 yards out and forced a stretching save out of Peter Crook.

Both sides were then disrupted by first half substitutions, Jerome Wright replacing Kyle Harrison for the visitors and Yellows captain Mark Roberts forced off with a cut eye and replaced by Luke George, who would himself be forced off injured in the second half.

Hyde would equalise before half-time, Porritt appeared to be coming back from an offside position but won the ball back off Duggan and space opened up for Pratt who was brought down by Dave Raven.

Platt bent the resulting free-kick in to Albinson’s right hand corner for 1-1, and for the rest of the first half, Hyde laid siege to the Warrington goal.

A deep free-kick was spilled by Albinson and McCombe spooned the rebound over the bar and then Ben Garrity cleared a header from McCombe off the line as the Yellows clung on waiting for half time.

The break enabled the hosts to re-group and Mackreth’s shot four minutes in to the second half was beaten away by Crook, before Gray had a golden chance snuffed out at the near post after a good pull back by the busy Kirby.

A stretching Raven pushed a shot wide on the hour and then Hyde served a timely reminder of their threat, Platt curling a free kick just over the bar.

It was from Platt set pieces that Hyde looked most likely, but as the game entered the final 10 minutes, the Yellows buoyed by the introduction of Jack Dunn took the game to the visitors.

A dangerous ball by Dunn was flapped at by Crook and diverted behind for a corner, and a few minutes later, a Dunn corner dropped in the box for Kirby and after his first shot was blocked, he fired the loose ball in to the back of the net with five minutes on the clock.

Warrington could have made sure in the 90th minute, more great work by Dunn creating a chance for fellow substitute Amis, who blazed over from eight yards.

But Hyde could have napped a point in injury, Albinson spilling Platt’s deep free kick before making amends with sharp stops from Matthew Hughes and Connor Simpson.

The Yellows return to the play-off places in the EVO-STIK League Premier Division ahead of next Saturday’s trip to Marine.

Warrington Town: Albinson, Duggan, Hughes, Garrity, Roberts (George (Amis)), Raven, Mackreth (Dunn), Evans, Gray, Dixon, Kirby. Unused subs: Benjamin, Dunn, Reid.

Hyde United: Crook, Harrison (Wright), Brownhill, Hughes, McCombe, Fagbola, Pratt (Chilaka), Daly, Simpson, Platt, Porritt. Unused subs:  O’Connor, Olarewaju, Tucker.

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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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