Big Jubilee Lunch

Warrington Town one win away from National League North

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FOR the second successive complete season, Warrington Town are just one win away from promotion to National League North.

They could become the back-to-back Northern Premier League play-off champions – the difference this time compared to 2018/19 being that the prize is automatic promotion.

Standing in their way are Scarborough Athletic, who will be cheered on by the majority of the near-3000 capacity crowd at the Flamingo Land Stadium.

The Yellows have sold their allocation of 600 tickets to ensure Mark Beesley’s side have a wall of supporters cheering them on at one end.

Like South Shields, Scarborough have beaten the Yellows twice in the regular season – winning 2-0 both home and away.

And just like in the semi-final against South Shields, the Yellows will enter this match as underdogs.

They will be buoyed by the manner of their win on Tuesday, where they were the better team after half time.

The tireless efforts of forwards Josh Amis and Jordan Buckley has afforded them extra recovery in the preparation for the final, with boss Beesley likely to keep his cards close to his chest until kick-off.

An unchanged starting side would be of no surprise, though there will be at least one enforced change on the bench – Jack Mackreth’s nasty knee injury sustained in a collision with the perimeter fencing at Shields forcing him out. Teenager Matt Grivosti would be the most obvious replacement.

That win prompted a mad rush for tickets for the final, hampered by a technology collapse on Thursday evening that meant supporters from both teams had problems buying tickets.

As a result, club officials pushed hard to ensure its full allocation went to away supporters. Coaches are due to leave Cantilever Park at 10.30am on Monday.

Goalkeeper Dan Atherton said: “It all comes down to the next 90 minutes. There’s one ball and 22 of us on the pitch, and it’s all about who can perform on the day.

“The supporters will be massive, especially being away from home.”

The task at hand is a tough one. Scarborough have lost just one league game since they were beaten by South Shields on New Year’s Day.

After an indifferent start to the season, which included a 6-0 battering by FC United, they have been largely relentless since November.

They stormed in to the play-off places in the middle of what many thought was simply a purple patch, it proved to be a permanent push for promotion.

Scarborough’s manager is former Manchester United midfielder Jonathan Greening.

The Yellows got little change out of centre-backs Will Thornton and Bailey Gooda in the previous meetings, while the variety up front in big man Jake Day, experienced wide man Michael Coulson and Kieran Glynn has given them plenty to cheer about.

Coulson has the remarkable story of having played for the original Scarborough club, wound up in 2007.

Less than 20 years ago, Scarborough went up against Chelsea in the FA Cup fourth round, with former England captain John Terry scoring the only goal of the game.

Athletic were formed as a phoenix club and earned promotion to NPL Division One in 2013/14, before moving up to the Premier Division in 2017/18, two years after the Yellows.

In 10 meetings since 2015, the Yellows have won five and drawn two, with Scarborough winning three – including the last two.

Whoever wins the match will take their place in National League North for 2022/23, which kicks off on August 6.

The game is being streamed live on YouTube by Scarborough, while full commentary will also be provided by The Yellows Mixlr channel and Lymm Radio.

The Yellows set to be cheered on by 600 travelling fans as play-off final to be streamed live free of charge


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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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