Pictures John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town’s poor home form continued as they were knocked out of the FA Trophy with a 1-0 defeat to Ashton United.
Sam Sheridan’s strike in to the top corner barely a minute after coming on as a second half substitute sent the Yellows to their fourth home defeat of the season, and their second on successive Saturdays.
The hosts were barely able to muster a shot on target and must now regroup ahead of the league visit of Hyde United in seven days.
On a day with a flurry of postponements due to waterlogged pitches up and down the country, ground staff had managed to get the game on at Cantilever Park, the pitch passing a morning inspection.
Fans were left scratching their heads on 10 minutes as to how Warrington hadn’t gone in front when Alex Byrne’s deep free-kick was brought down in the box by Ben Garrity, poked beyond the ‘keeper towards Mark Roberts, only for an Ashton defender to get back and clear when a goal looked all but certain.
As has been the case often at home this season, Warrington were able to control a lot of possession but without really finding a cutting edge, their lack of an out and out frontman in the continued absence of the injured Josh Amis being exposed once again.
They weren’t troubled much at the other end either, again a pattern of the season so far, with Roberts and Mitch Duggan able to sniff out any half chances that Ashton might have had.
Tony Gray had a faint penalty appeal turned down in the 39th minute before he did brilliantly to win the ball back in midfield, slide through for the lively Jack Mackreth, the winger pushing his shot just wide of the far post.
Ashton should have taken the lead two minutes in to the second half, an awkward ball from the left by Jordan Slew was inadvertently held up by Dave Raven and put on a plate for Josh Wilson, who somehow missed from five yards out, with ‘keeper Tony McMillan diving to his right to make a superb save.
Despite the best efforts of Mackreth and Dylan Vassallo, the Yellows just couldn’t carve out a chance, Vassallo flashing a teasing ball right across the goalmouth shortly before the hour.
Debutant Jack Banister, who signed on dual-registration from Curzon Ashton on Friday, almost made an immediate impact after coming off the bench on 65 minutes, racing on to Vassallo’s chip over the defence, and it needed an alert Jon Worsnop to come far out of his goal to thwart the attack.
It would be an Ashton substitute that proved the difference though, as yet again Warrington succumbed to another stunner of a goal.
As has often been the case this season, with every opposition team seemingly capable of scoring goal of the month contenders at Cantilever Park, Sheridan gathered a short corner from the right and smashed it in to the top left corner from 20 yards, leaving McMillan with no chance.
That left the Yellows perhaps feeling a little sense of deja vu, and Ashton looked more than capable of seeing the game out.
There maybe should have been an equaliser on 75 minutes, the hardworking Gray finding Vassallo in the box, and his strongly-hit centre was chested over the bar by Banister as he desperately tried to reposition his body to get a telling contact from six yards out.
Vassallo improvised to fire a Tom Warren cross just wide with his knee, but as the game closed out, the only hope the Yellows could muster was a half-hearted penalty appeal when Lewis Walters appeared to handle in the box from a Vassallo free-kick, though it would have been soft, as the Yellows bowed out of the FA Trophy in the first qualifying round.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan (Dixon), Warren (Jordan), Beeley, Roberts, Raven, Byrne (Banister), Garrity, Mackreth, Gray, Vassallo. Unused subs: Corbett, Murray.
Ashton United: Worsnop, Lufudu, Clee, Havern, Hunt, Field (Sheridan), Casian-Anghel, Rowney, Wilson (Walters), Tomsett (Tames), Slew. Unused subs: Cottam, Woodford.