Lancaster 1 Warrington Town 1
DESPITE picking up their first points of the new year, Warrington Town will have returned home from Lancaster disappointed.
Manager Shaun Reid had introduced his new signings from Conference North outfit Colwyn Bay, John Newby and Danny Mannix, into the starting line-up to face the Evo-Stik Division One North's 12th-placed opponents and needed them to inspire his side's first win of 2013 if they are to avoid slipping back into mid-table obscurity over the next few weeks.
Unable to find a winning combination up front, the Yellows have now gone five weeks without victory and with the gap between them and the all-important play-off places gradually widening, the pressure is on for Reid to inspire a turnaround if he is to justify the significant investment in new players seen at the club in recent months.
Town's new-look strike force started well, however, with John Miles and Newby combining to ripple the side netting in a warning of what was to come on 15 minutes.
Again Miles was the architect, with his pull back finding Ciaran Kilheeney, who's shot-cum-cross was tapped in off the post for Fraser McLachlan's first goal since his arrival from Nantwich Town.
They should have extended their lead almost immediately when centre back James McCarten headed Kilheeney's cross wide, before Kilheeney himself had a weak effort cleared off the line by defender Danny Gregson.
The host's introduction of debutant striker Aaron Taylor marked a turning point in the game and inspired the hosts to threaten Andy Robertson's goal with more intent as the half came to a close.
It was a trend that continued after the restart, with Darren Green denied by another fine Robertson save and Swarbrick seeing his volley blocked by full back Phil Doran.
But Town did not heed the warnings and instead forfeited their lead on the hour, when Swarbrick produced a wickedly curling half volley that left Robertson with no chance.
Then came the controversy, as when City defender Gregson seemingly handled Newby's cross on the edge of the penalty area, the assistant referee deemed the incident had occurred outside of the box and waved away Town's claims for a penalty.
Still, Town had chances to snatch a late win.
Mike Heverin's introduction created chances for both Phil Mooney and Kilheeney as Town desperately searched for an equaliser.
But their efforts were summed up by Mooney's late miss, with the midfielder blasting over the bar from the edge of the area with only City keeper McDonald to beat.
Town: Robertson, Davies, Doran, Dogan (c), Mitter (Reid, 62)(Mooney, 87), McCarten, John Newby (d), McLachlan, C Kilheeney, Danny Mannix (d), Miles (Heverin, 67).