Pictures John Hopkins
WARRINGTON Town opened up the Northern Premier League season with a fine 2-0 win away at Basford United.
Both sides were in the play-off places when last season was brought to a premature end back in March, so the Yellows will see this away win as a good benchmark to start the new campaign.
Jack Dunn’s opener and a penalty from Bohan Dixon gave the visitors a two goal cushion at half-time, and though they had to weather second half pressure from Basford, they held on for three points and a clean sheet.
Ambitious Basford had got their recruitment done early in the summer, while the Yellows added four new signings this week with Paul Carden always looking to improve – including goalkeeper Charlie Albinson, who got the nod after several outings on trial.
The two sides felt each other out for the first quarter of the game and it was 20 minutes until either ‘keeper had a notable piece of work to do, Kieran Preston scampering back to tip over the bar after Matt Regan caught one well from range.
Albinson was alert at the other end to hold on to a deflected shot, as Regan and Mark Roberts at the heart of the Yellows defence largely snuffed out Basford’s attacking threat.
The opening goal came on 27 minutes, Dunn showing strength on the edge of the box to hold off a couple of defenders and then digging out a well-placed shot that beat Preston.
Both sides had a couple of promising attacks break down before Jack Mackreth got at his marker and stood up a lovely cross to the back post for Dixon, who was barged out of the way of a near certain goal and the referee had no choice but to award a penalty, with some shouts from the home bench that a red card may have been a possibility too.
Dixon stepped up and converted the penalty off the inside of Preston’s left hand post and it was 2-0 at half time.
Naturally, Basford came out flying in the second half as they looked to get back in to the game, but they were constantly denied by Roberts and Regan blocks at the back.
A couple of shots were hit over the bar and when the centre backs were finally beaten by a Kane Richards turn in the box, Albinson was off his line quickly to save superbly with his body.
The Yellows had a couple of half chances for a third, a wonderful run by Dixon ending with a shot curled over the bar, and debutant Irwyah Gooden also went close with a shot on the half-volley.
There is now a run of three successive home games for the Yellows, beginning with Tuesday night’s visit of South Shields in the FA Cup.
Basford: Preston, Roma, Wilson, Thornhill, Galinski, Gatter, Clifton, Chettle, Towle, James, Howes. Unused subs: Dunn, Pierrpont.
Warrington Town: Albinson, Baillie, Amado (Grogan), Munro (Brown), Roberts, Regan, Mackreth, Rose, Amis, Dixon, Dunn (Gooden). Unused subs: Buckley, Duffy.