Pictures John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town pulled off a sensational late comeback as Dominic Reid struck an injury time winner to beat play-off challengers Buxton 2-1.
The visitors had looked comfortable throughout the match after taking the lead through Alex Brown on 14 minutes but the Yellows somehow stole the three points to record a fourth straight win.
Reid won a penalty five minutes from time to enable Jack Dunn to level things up for what would have been a very pleasing point given the pattern of the match, but Reid sent Cantilever Park in to delirium as he struck in the dying seconds.
After having last week off, the Yellows welcomed back Charlie Albinson in goal while Jack Dunn came in to the line-up to replace Jake Kirby, who has recently been recalled from his loan by Stockport.
They had an opening inside the first three minutes, Jack Mackreth’s free-kick finding Ben Garrity in all sorts of space at the back post, his touch got away from him though and enabled Theo Roberts to get out and smother the ball.
Roberts would see a lot of the ball in the first half but largely at his feet, as the Yellows struggled to get hold of the ball in the final third.
The visitors were restricted to counter attacks in the opening exchanges, one coming direct from a Roberts punch off a corner that ended in a nice cross by captain Callum Chippendale which was cleared by Dave Raven.
Buxton started to gain more territory and they opened the scoring on 14 minutes. John Pritchard, who scored on this ground for Ashton last season, switched over to the right hand side and put a teasing ball in and with former Yellows striker James Dean occupying the centre halves, left back Alex Brown snuck in to head down and in to the back of the net at the back post.
Dean and fellow forward Liam Hardy would enjoy plenty of the ball and Buxton started to control the game.
Another move created an opportunity to cross down the right, Ash Young’s ball was just too far for Dean, who got something on it on the stretch before it fell to Chippendale who volleyed over the bar.
Chippendale would also shoot wide with the outside of his right foot on the half hour, as despite their relative dominance, Buxton failed to create much in the way of a clear cut opportunity.
The only other chance of note before the interval was when Pritchard tried to catch Albinson out with a long range free-kick, that the on-loan Blackburn ‘keeper got across to the left to hold.
Things clearly needed to change for the Yellows at the break and they responded well at the start of the second half, a relentless period of pressure for the first few minutes.
An inswinging free-kick by Jack Dunn was only half cleared, and Mark Roberts just couldn’t get a full connection to the header, before Bohan Dixon blazed over the bar from a Dunn cross.
Eventually, that pressure would relent without any real chances being created and Paul Carden opted to freshen his approach, introducing Connor McCarthy, Josh Amis and Dominic Reid.
But Buxton would serve a warning to their continued threat on 68 minutes when a free-kick was headed against the post by Scott Sephton.
The substitutes had livened up the hosts though and McCarthy would draw a fantastic save out of Roberts on 71 minutes, his curling right-footed shot tipped over the bar at full stretch by the diving ‘keeper, who is at Buxton on a season-long loan from Chester.
There was no real indication of the excitement that was to follow as the Yellows somehow turned things around in the final five minutes.
Substitute Reid darted between two defenders on 85 minutes and was then pulled back as he raced through on goal, the referee pointed to the spot and Dunn kept his cool to send the ‘keeper the wrong way.
Dunn rushed to get the ball out of the goal in a sure sign that the Yellows were not done and so it proved.
They chucked men forward and it looked like their chance had passed when the luckless Amis headed just wide from Dunn’s corner.
But then in the final minute of injury time, after Dunn’s corner was only half cleared, Reid got the ball under control, created space and fired a shot past the unsighted Roberts to scenes of despair from the visitors.
It consolidates Warrington’s play-off place ahead of their trip to Witton Albion on Boxing Day.
Warrington Town: Albinson, Duggan, Hughes, Garrity, Roberts, Raven, Mackreth (Reid), Evans, Gray (McCarthy), Dixon (Amis), Dunn. Subs: Gumbs, Vassallo.
Buxton: Roberts, Roscoe, Brown, DeGirolamo, T Dean, Sephton, Chippendale, Young, J Dean (Grayson), Hardy (Oyibo), Pritchard (Coppin). Subs: Gee, Meade.
— Cantilever Chat (@Cantilever_Chat) December 22, 2018
— Philip Walker (@PWWALKER) December 22, 2018