Picture John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town’s disappointing December continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Witton Albion.
Paul Carden’s side have now managed just three points from their four games in December and slip out of the play-off places.
They were made to rue two disallowed goals in the second half after skipper Mark Roberts had nodded the Yellows in front barely two minutes before Witton’s equaliser from the penalty spot in the first half.
Carden handed a debut to former Accrington midfielder Scott Brown, who joined the club on a month’s loan from Harrogate Town, while Shaun Beeley and Tom Warren also returned to the starting line-up.
Looking to bounce back from the 4-0 mauling at Morpeth on Saturday, the Yellows started brightly with the lively Jack Mackreth twice getting in behind in the first five minutes from the right.
Jack Dunn volleyed over the bar, before Tony Gray did the same with a header. Dunn called the busy Chris Renshaw in to action for the first time on 12 minutes, the ‘keeper doing well to keep hold of a shot that had skipped up off the wet surface.
Warrington opened the scoring on 20 minutes, a half-cleared corner was fired back in by Tom Warren, Renshaw spilled a relatively routine catch, and from the resulting scramble, Roberts headed home via a defender.
The hosts’ joy was shortlived, Warren clumsily bringing down Isaac Baldwin on the right hand side of the box, gifting James Foley the chance to fire home from the penalty spot and level things up.
The game settled for a while after that flurry, and it was the 40th minute until the next clear chance of note, a quick passing move saw Dunn release Gray, and as he tried to slide the ball past Renshaw, the ‘keeper stretched out his leg to divert wide.
It was Renshaw’s opposite number Tony McMillan who was first called in to action in the second half, getting down well to save from Will Jones.
But once the hour mark passed, Witton seemed happy with a point and Warrington dominated possession and territory.
They huffed and puffed creating chance after chance, but couldn’t break Witton down.
Dunn had a shot saved, before his free-kick was headed goalwards by Mitch Duggan, on as a substitute for the injured Beeley, which Renshaw tipped over the bar.
That prompted a busy 15 minutes for Renshaw, who pushed away a Gray header from the resulting corner.
The first of the two disallowed goals came on 72 minutes, Roberts squeezing the ball in at the far post only for the referee to deem Gray offside.
Renshaw then twice got his body behind shots through a ruck of bodies, first a half-volley from Brown and then a header from Garrity, while in between Gray glanced a header on to the post.
Warrington could barely have done more than score but they were almost caught out at the death, with men piled forward, they were hit on the counter attack, and it was only the fantastic pace and tracking by Mackreth that snuffed out a chance for former Yellows midfielder Michael Monaghan.
That wasn’t the end of the drama, as Gray thought he had earned the Yellows an almost traditional late Boxing Day win, only for his header to be flagged offside.
Warrington are next in action at Bamber Bridge on New Year’s Day.
Warrington: McMillan, Beeley (Duggan), Warren, Brown, Roberts, Duffus, Mackreth, Gray, Dixon (Vassallo), Dunn. Unused subs: Banister, Richards, Sephton.
Witton: Renshaw, Baldwin, Short, Wardle, Anson, Goulding (Monaghan), Foley, Lingouba, Jones, Mitchley (Sambor) Owens. Unused subs: McKenna, Neild.