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Warrington Town knocked out of the FA Cup

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Pictures John Hopkins

WARRINGTON Town bowed out of the FA Cup for another year with a 2-0 defeat at National League North side Brackley Town.

There was a gulf in class that hasn’t always been evident when the Yellows have faced higher league opposition in recent years, and goals in either half fired the hosts through to the fourth qualifying round.

It took 24 minutes for the Yellows’ resolve to be broken, former Auxerre and Notts County centre-half Thierry Audel heading Brackley in front.

The game was still alive until Ellis Myles buried a second 11 minutes from time, but in truth Warrington were always second best.

Still missing Louis Barnes and Jack Dunn through injury, Josh Amis was added to the casualty list, with Alex Byrne and Bohan Dixon also dropping to the bench.

Warrington started brightly, Scott Sephton shooting over the bar within 30 seconds of the kick-off having been invited forward, and they forced the first corner within three minutes off Dylan Vassallo’s blocked cross.

Their best half-opening came on 11 minutes, good defending by Dave Raven, who had an entertaining battle with Lee Ndlovu throughout, feeding Tony Gray, his lay-off scuffed wide by Matty Chadwick on his weaker right foot.

It took a while for Brackley, who have finished third in National League North in each of the past two seasons, to settle in to the game but they started to gain control after a quarter of an hour.

Their first chance was a fizzing volley from Shane Byrne that was deflected just wide, before Gareth Dean headed over at the back post from the resulting corner.

A couple of pot shots followed, before they opened the scoring through Audel, who came round at the back post to head home a wicked corner from Glenn Walker.

They threatened to double that lead as the game looked to be getting away from the Yellows, but the visitors managed to dig in and almost opened up the hosts close to half-time, Ben Garrity’s pull-back cleared after some patient build-up play.

Matt Lowe and Ndlovu both shot wide in the early exchanges of the second half as Brackley looked in control, with Warrington introducing both Sheldon Jordan and Alex Byrne to try and spark some life in to the performance.

They may have had cause to be upset on 65 minutes when the already booked Myles appeared to pull down Gray on a counter attack, the referee waving play-on, and the game started to open up as Warrington tried to find a way back in to it.

The closest they came was on 69 minutes, Byrne taking a loose ball down on his knee and then firing a rising shot over the bar, as the Yellows ended the game without making a shot on target.

A tough task became impossible on 79 minutes when Brackley opened up their defence on a break, Myles being the spare man at the far post and he fired home through McMillan.

Warrington are next in action at home to Lancaster City on Tuesday night.

Brackley Town: Lewis, Myles, Franklin, Byrne, Audel, Dean, Lowe, Armson, Ndlovu (Holman), Fairlamb (Baker), Walker. Unused subs: Langmead, Noon, Worby.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan, Warren, Sephton (Dixon), Roberts, Raven, Mackreth, Garrity, Chadwick (Jordan), Gray, Vassallo (Byrne). Unused subs: Beeley, Jennings, McCarten, Richards.

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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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