Prescot Cables 1 Warrington Town 1
WARRINGTON'S late-season play-off surge hit an unexpected blip as they stumbled to a draw against lowly Prescot Cables at Valerie Park.
On a pitch ruined by tyre marks and sand patches, Shaun Reid's men struggled to play effective passing football and were held at bay by the aerial threat of the hosts, who were Reid's previous club before he made the switch to the Yellows last season.
Snatching a point from a 1-0 deficit cannot be sniffed at, but in the cut-throat world of the Evo-Stik Division One North's promotion battle Town will be frustrated that they did not turn their second-half strength into two vital extra points.
Town should have been ahead after 10 minutes when David Mannix’s free kick was flicked on by Andy Fowler, only for the usually potent forward Ciaran Kilheeney to sidefoot over the bar from six yards out.
Wastefulness in front of goal was apparently a shared curse among Yellows' front line, as Ash Ruane's subsequent one-on-one resulted in a sliced shot that failed to trouble Cables goalkeeper Adam Reid.
Mannix then forced Reid into an instinctive stop after a goalmouth scramble, before Warrington created and missed another gilt-edged chance five minutes before the interval.
Lee Parle, who has impressed on his return from injury, played a perfectly weighted ball to Fowler only for the resulting shot to rebound harmlessly back off the inside of the far post and out for a goal kick.
The tone for the second half was set with Jack Webb's thunderous late challenge on Doran to earn a booking, but just as the match threatened to devolve into a brawl Prescot popped up to take control on 53 minutes.
Liam Dawson's finish from a long ball put the hosts ahead, and try as they might Town could not craft a reply.
Luckily for Reid the introduction of John Miles and Jon Newby added some fresh legs to the visiting attack and with 10 minutes remaining they grabbed the all-important equaliser.
Kilheeney's shot could only be parried by Reid and Miles was on hand to slam home and give his side a share of the points.
Newby then almost snatched a last-gasp winner, but Reid's save ensured it was a disgruntled Warrington side that returned home with only a point to their name.
Town: Robertson, Davies, Doran, Parle, McCarten, Dogan (C), Fowler, Mannix (Newby 70), Kilheeney, Ruane (Miles 70), Brown (Mooney 85).