Pictures John Hopkins
A LATE Josh Amis header kept Warrington Town’s FA Cup hopes alive with a 2-2 draw against City of Liverpool.
It looked like former Yellows hero and now City of Liverpool boss Craig Robinson had masterminded another cup upset on this ground, having famously scored the winner for Warrington against Exeter City five years ago, as his side came from behind to lead thanks to a cracker from Jake Hazelhurst.
Warrington had led on the stroke of half time thanks to a Bohan Dixon header, before Hazelhurst fired home an equaliser in the early stages of the second half.
Young left-back Tom Warren kept his place after impressing on his debut at Nantwich Town in midweek, while the visitors started with former Yellows striker Jamie McDonald up front and another familiar face in Liam Dawson on the bench.
There was very little in the way of action for the first 15 minutes, save for a wayward Mitch Duggan shot from 25 yards, and the midfielder also had a chance on 17 minutes, heading down in to the ground and over the bar from Alex Byrne’s right wing cross.
The visitors had a couple of moments through Karl Clair, who was denied by the feet of Tony McMillan, before flashing a ball right across the goalmouth which was cleared at the back post, shortly before John McGrath was denied at the near post from a narrow angle by McMillan.
Warrington created their best chance from the first corner of the game, Josh Amis’ header blocked on the line by Jason Jefferies, and it was their second corner that brought the first goal of the game, Byrne keeping up his fine record of goal assists this season as Bohan Dixon nodded in at the back post for a 1-0 half time lead.
The Yellows just didn’t come out at the start of the second half and by the hour, they found themselves 2-1 down.
Within four minutes of the restart, a free-kick found its way to Hazelhurst, and he fired home low past McMillan, and then on 58 minutes, the diminutive attacker cut in from the right and unleashed an unstoppable hit with his left foot in to the top corner.
Once Warrington finally woke up, it was a backs against the wall job for the visitors, who were nearly pegged back when Tony Gray volleyed over from a long throw.
Amis had a penalty shout waved away after charging through the middle to get on the end of a Mark Roberts header, before Gray’s free-kick was kept out by the nervy James Aspinall.
City of Liverpool went to five at the back for the final quarter, and somehow stayed in front on 79 minutes when a corner fell to Gray’s feet in the goalmouth, he turned to fire right across the goal and neither Amis or Roberts could get a decisive touch.
Just as it looked like Warrington had ran out of time, in the final minute of the 90, Amis popped up to nod home Byrne’s cross, the ninth assist from the wide man this season.
He very nearly made that 10 in injury time, his corner headed goalwards by Garrity and kept out by Aspinall at full stretch.
The two will go again at Bootle’s TDP Solicitors Stadium on Tuesday night with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Raven, Warren (Barnes), Duggan, Roberts, McCarten, Byrne, Garrity, Amis, Chadwick (Gray), Dixon. Subs: Beeley, Richards, Vassallo, Speare.
City of Liverpool: Aspinall, Denson, Dalton, McEllin (Moore), Foy, Williams, Jefferies, Clair, McDonald (Paterson), Hazelhurst, McGrath (Kearney). Subs: McDonell, Dawson, Roberts, Marshall.