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Cusani stunner keeps Warrington Town title chase alive

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Pictures John Hopkins

WARRINGTON Town are doing all they can in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division title race after winning 1-0 at home to Whitby Town.

Marcus Cusani’s superb second half winner was enough to earn the Yellows another three points, but once again their rivals Farsley and South Shields both picked up wins in their respective games.

There are now just four games left of the regular season and Warrington are three points behind Shields and four points behind leaders Farsley.

Paul Carden named an unchanged side from Saturday’s 2-0 win at Matlock Town, though it was Whitby who would settle in to the game quicker.

Captain Dale Hopson went for an ambitious effort inside two minutes that would have even beaten his excellent free-kick in Saturday’s win over Marine, instead it sailed high and wide.

A couple of times the Seasiders created some space in the final third only to be snuffed out by Mitch Duggan and Jack Mackreth on the right hand side, before Matthew Tymon twice had a look at a corner in space, but just couldn’t get a good connection.

Warrington gradually got a foothold, Jack Dunn driving forward and then scuffing a right foot shot wide, and it was his hustling of Leon Scott in midfield that created an opening for Mackreth, who couldn’t quite pull the ball back far enough for Bohan Dixon in the box.

Whitby continued to play nice football and that was none more evident than when Tymon linked up with Brad Fewster to open up the Yellows on the edge of the box with a one-two, only for Fewster to lose his footing as he looked to open up to shoot.

For all both sides’ huffing and puffing in the first half, the only time a goalkeeper was called in to action was when Daniel Rowe back heeled a loose ball from a corner through a few bodies forcing Tony McMillan to get down low to his left and stop on the line.

Robbie Evans had a couple of looks at goal from which he should have done better, shooting over on both occasions, and it remained goalless at the break.

Warrington came out with a much greater tempo and intensity after the break and within three minutes of the restart had hit the woodwork, Evans’ measured 25-yard strike coming back off the face of the post.

Dunn’s in-swinging corner was beaten away by Adam McHugh, while at the other end Whitby only really mustered one chance of note, a lovely bit of football ending when Fewster shot over the bar on the turn after they had worked the ball in to the box.

But it was mainly Warrington creating any attacks of note and another good ball by Dunn ended in Gray nodding wide of the post.

Another Dunn set piece, this time a deep free-kick from close to the touchline, found Gray running around at the back post and as he diverted goalwards from a tight angle, McHugh was there to keep it out.

With results elsewhere going against them, it looked like this might be the end of Warrington’s title challenge, but once again they showed guts to stay alive and it was a cracking goal that won the match.

Substitute Cusani took a pass from Mitch Duggan on the corner of the box, turned his man inside and as the ball rolled away from him, he whipped a left-foot shot in to the far corner.

That proved enough, though Cusani almost had a second from the other side, his right-foot shot deflected over the bar after he had been released down the left by Connor McCarthy.

Warrington are next in action at home to Scarborough Athletic on Saturday.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan, Hughes, Garrity, Roberts, Raven, Mackreth, Evans, Gray, Dixon, Dunn. Subs: Amis, Benjamin, Cusani, McCarthy, Vassallo.

Whitby Town: McHugh, Smith, Sukar, Scott, Weledji, White, Rowe, Patton, Fewster, Tymon, Hopson. Subs: Bullock, Coffey, Rutherford, McTiernan, Dixon.

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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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