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Early red card sets up miserable afternoon for the Yellows

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IT was a miserable final game before Christmas for Warrington Town as they were heavily beaten 4-0 at Morpeth Town.

A red card for Bohan Dixon after just nine minutes with the Yellows already behind to Liam Noble’s third minute opener set up a humbling afternoon for the visitors and they conceded all the goals in the first half.

Carl Finnigan doubled the lead on 23 minutes, the first of three goals in four minutes, with Liam and Jeff Henderson also finding the net for the gleeful hosts.

There were doubts over whether the game would go ahead as the Yellows arrived, the pitch in a woeful condition in certain areas and perhaps had such a distance not been travelled, maybe the referee would have pushed harder to call it off.

Warrington will have wished that had been the case after their horrendous start, Noble firing smartly in to the corner from Finnigan’s cross.

And it got worse when Dixon was shown a red card for an apparent push to the face of Highwaymen midfielder Sam Hodgson as the players waited for a Yellows free-kick.

The first half performance was almost as shambolic as the pitch, Finnigan smartly steering the ball in to the corner past four defenders on the line after Tony McMillan was left stranded, before a stunner from Liam Henderson made it 3-0 on the half hour.

Everything Morpeth touched was turning to gold and so it proved when centre half Jeff Henderson was the unlikely executor of a clever backheel free-kick from a left wing cross for 4-0 by half time.

It was a clear case of damage limitation for the Yellows in the second half, with Tom Warren and Dylan Vassallo introduced at the break to give some fresh legs on the heavy pitch.

They, and forward Jack Mackreth particularly, ran hard in the second half in what was a positive response to the adversity faced.

Morpeth still had chances to stretch their lead, Finnigan hitting the post five minutes in to the break, but the Yellows themselves did have some positive moves forward and were perhaps unfortunate not to get a penalty from a Mackreth corner.

Paul Carden and assistant Mark Beesley will have been happy with their side’s application in the second half, only to see it spoiled with almost the final kick of the game, defender Mitch Duggan shown the second red card of the afternoon for scraping a boot down the calf of Stephen Forster.

With just two points out of nine in December, Warrington welcome Witton Albion to Cantilever Park on Boxing Day.

Morpeth Town: Lowson, Williams (Robson), Reid, Noble, J Henderson, Forster, Walton, Hodgson (Sayer), L Henderson, Finnigan (Foalle), Phillips. Unused subs: Turnbull, Mohammed.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan, Barnes (Warren), Sephton, Roberts, Duffus, Mackreth, Garrity, Gray (Richards), Dunn (Vassallo). Unused subs: Banister.

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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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