The latest news from Warrington Town FC at Cantilever Park concerns a continued run of good form in the Northern Premier League, swift progression on a course for Wembley Stadium and FA Trophy glory, and a forthcoming double-header with the same opposition in both competitions.
Upturn in league form
Starting with the upturn in league fortunes and after a start to the new season which saw Warrington Town FC return a mixed bag of five wins, two draws and four defeats from their opening 11 outings in an inconsistent patch, their form since October has came around is cause for some celebration for Paul Carden and his coaching staff. A six-match unbeaten league streak – featuring four wins and two draws – has catapulted the Yellows into the play-off places as they aim to complete a league campaign for the first time since the Covid pandemic hit by picking up where they left off at the end of the curtailed 2019-20 season.
That saw what ultimately proved to be a fruitless season end null and voided, all results records having been expunged with Warrington sitting in third place by the end of March and looking good for a repeat of the play-off run they had the previous season which saw them narrowly and agonisingly miss out on promotion to the National League North – and a potential county derby with Chester FC.
Last season was even more of a write off with only nine games having taken place before yet another season curtailment much to the frustration of everyone concerned at Cantilever Park – and those onlookers wanting to follow their service plays tips to back Warrington Town FC – but the recent upturn in league form demonstrates Carden has got his players firing on all cylinders as they aim to make this season count to completion.
After grinding out a narrow 1-0 victory at Ashton United, that was followed by a convincing 3-0 rout of Stalybridge Celtic prior to two draws at Nantwich Town (1-1) and 0-0 at home to Whitby Town, who are currently in the top five in the table. The most recent two outings have brought victories over the two sides propping up the division, 2-1 away at Grantham Town, thanks to first-half substitute Matt Grivosti’s brace, and 1-0 at home against perennial strugglers Hyde United thanks to an injury-time winner to lift the side into sixth spot after 17 games – with a game in hand over all but one of the five teams above them.
Trophy hunt starts well
Turning our attention to the “Non-league FA Cup”, the FA Trophy, and Warrington have progressed through two rounds so far to set up an intriguing home tie in Round Two with fellow Northern Premier League Premier outfit Morpeth Town – who are at the opposite end of the league table as it stands.
Kicking off their competition with a 2-0 victory in the North East of England – against Hebburn Town of the tier below, the Northern Premier League Division One East, thanks to a debut goal from Spanish midfielder Stefan Mols – a recent signing from Blackburn – and experienced midfielder Jack Mackreth who had earlier opened the scoring.
An under-strength Yellows were without a recognised left-back, midfielder Ben Hough donning the number three jersey, and Mols was the only fully-fit substitute they took on the long journey to the outskirts of Newcastle. Things looked to have gone from bad to worse on the injury front when striker Josh Amis picked up a knock midway through the first half but he continued and saw the deadlock broken just before the hour mark, Dom Reid with a strong run and pass to set up Mackreth for his first goal of the season.
The visitors had goalkeeper Dan Atherton to thank for keeping wave after wave of Hebburn attack at bay until substitute Mols extended the lead and provided a safety buffer for the final quarter hour with a quick-fire rebound after Mackreth had seen his effort parried away by the home stopper.
Carden would have been delighted to see his side come through a testing away tie against tough opposition and they were rewarded with a home tie against another side from the tier below – this time Division One Midlands outfit Chasetown, famous for an FA Cup run to the Third Round in 2007/08.
The Yellows proved too strong for their Staffordshire visitors in the end and once they took the lead less than 60 seconds into the game through the in-form Grivosti the outcome was never in doubt – compounded by the visitors being reduced to ten men prior to a later second goal by Luke Duffy to book their place in the Second Round of the competition.
That Second Round will take place on Saturday 27th November and it spells a swift return to Cantilever Park for the visit of league rivals Morpeth Town in one of five-all NPL Premier fixtures at this stage of the competition. But before that, the two sides will meet just four days prior in a rearranged league fixture in the North East next midweek as Warington look to continue their fine run of form and put some pressure on the sides at the top end of the table. An opportunity to mount a mid-season challenge at the business end of the league alongside progression in the pinnacle non-league knockout competition, with its associated prize money, is one which Carden and his side are relishing as we enter a busy festive period of action.