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Buckley goal enough for Warrington Town

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WARRINGTON Town ended their three-match losing streak with a hard fought 1-0 win away at Ashton United.

Jordan Buckley’s second half goal was enough to claim all three points in the Manchester rain, with goalkeeper Dan Atherton making some decisive interventions at the other end to earn a clean sheet.

His first half save from Harvey Macadam’s header was as good as you’ll see, and he also quickly scrambled across goal to save a near certain tap-in for Tom Warren in the second half.

The hosts are struggling near the bottom of the league and with the Yellows out of form, the first half saw two sides struggling to get any rhythm.

If the Yellows had started brighter, Ashton eventually got going and they did more with the ball when they did have at – new on-loan striker Jordan Hulme keeping Matt Regan and Mark Roberts busy.

A good run and cross by Harry Spratt found Hulme, and his first time shot was deflected on to the roof of the net by Regan, who also stopped a dangerous ball in by Ben Hardcastle.

Regan inadvertently caused some worry on 13 minutes when a relatively harmless Atherton clearance hit him and spun goalwards – fortunately for the Yellows only going behind for a corner and moments later, Hardcastle curled a free-kick on to the roof of the net.

Atherton was beaten on 21 minutes when Adam Senior drilled a shot goalwards, with Eddie Clarke well positioned on the post to clear off the line.

The Yellows’ best first half chance fell for Sean Williams, Josh Amis laying the ball off for the midfielder on the edge and he slashed his first-time shot just wide of the keeper’s left hand post.

The first bit of Atherton magic came just after the half hour mark, all his weight was going right, but he somehow managed to bounce back left to tip away Macadam’s header in the other direction and it remained goalless at half-time.

Seven minutes in to the second half, Hulme had undone the Yellows on the right and his fizzed ball looked destined to be put home by former Yellows left-back Warren at the far post, only for Atherton to get across and keep the ball out.

A change in system for the Yellows followed, with the introduction of Jack Mackreth, and minutes later got the decisive goal.

Williams clipped a free-kick towards the back post aiming for Regan, Roberts got there first and nodded down for Buckley and his instinctive right foot shot was too much for Oliver Martin to keep out.

Ashton found chances harder to come by in the second half, Hulme flashing a shot right across goal, and the best chance after then actually fell to the Yellows – a cross from James Baillie finding an unmarked Amis who headed wide.

Man of the match Regan blocked from Hulme as the Yellows saw the game out for a vital win, ahead of next week’s home game against Stalybridge Celtic.

Ashton United: Martin, Senior, Spratt, Macadam, Raynes, Hardcastle, Brewster, Hulme, Tomsett (Bentham), Warren (Anghel). Unused subs: Rowney, Hartley, Baird.

Warrington Town: Atherton, Baillie, Clarke, Harris (Duggan), Roberts, Regan, Griffiths (Mackreth), Amis, Dixon, Buckley (Reid), Williams. Unused subs: Duffy, Grivosti.

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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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