Warrington Town 0 Skelmersdale United 1
WARRINGTON Town slumped to a third successive Evo-Stik Division One North defeat against unbeaten promotion seekers Skelmersdale United.
As the Yellows' activity in the transfer market continues, manager Shaun Reid handed debuts to two players for the visit of the division's second-placed side, midfielder Fraser McLauchlan and Mike Heverin, who enjoyed a third Town debut after returning to the club he last graced eight years ago.
But the introduction of the new boys did little to revive the fortunes of Reid's flagging squad, who have now gone a month without a win and as a result have slipped to tenth in the league table having played the highest number of games of any team in the division.
Given Warrington's recently-boosted attacking ranks it must be worrying for Reid that they have gone almost two weeks without a goal, though that was not for lack of trying against United, who survived rare first half efforts for both Ciaran Kilheeney and Ash Ruane.
Their chances were not helped by an injury to Ruane on the half hour, to be replaced by the recovering Michael Reid, and it was Skelmersdale who enjoyed the last chance of a dire opening 40 minutes when Adam Morning pulled his shot wide of the upright.
The second half was a much brighter affair and within 60 seconds Town had gone close to taking the lead, when full back Louis Corrigan saw his inswinging corner smack back into play off the crossbar.
But as the half wore on the visitors became more and more assertive, pushing Warrington back into their half and restricting their attacking play.
United midfielder Kenny Strickland shot over when well-placed and striker Mark Jackson sliced Morning's cross wide when he really should have scored, but Town's goal would not lead a charmed life for much longer.
With 15 minutes remaining Skelmersdale made their pressure count when Town's defence failed to clear a cross and the loose ball fell to Jackson to blast home from a tight angle.
United went close to doubling their lead through Jackson and Kenny Strickland in the minutes that followed, but agonisingly for Town and debutant Heverin, a dream debut failed to materialise as the attacker blasted a brilliant chance for a late equaliser over the bar from close range.
Town: Robertson, Davies, Doran, Dogan (c), Mitter, McCarten, McCarthy (Mooney, 55), Fraser McLachlan (Townson, 78), C Kilheeney, Mike Heverin, Ruane (Miles, 40).