Warrington Town's fine run is ended

Warrington Guardian: Ciaran Kilheeney marks his late goal but it was too little too late on Saturday. Picture by John Hopkins Ciaran Kilheeney marks his late goal but it was too little too late on Saturday. Picture by John Hopkins

Warrington Town 1 Darlington 4

WARRINGTON Town's unbeaten 17-game run in the league is over.

They were soundly beaten 4-1 by 1883 Darlington in Evo-Stik Division One North on Saturday.

Darlington hit the net twice either side of half time in what was a comfortable victory.

From the visitors' point of view, it sent out a message that they too are likely to have a considerable say in the destination of the league title.

Despite the fine run, Warrington offered very little going forward, as they were defeated for the second time this season by the north east club, who won the reverse fixture 2-0 on the opening day of the season.

There wasn't much in the way of chances in the opening quarter, but when chances did come, Darlington were clinical in front of goal.

A sloppy pass in midfield by Chris Gahgan left Town short at the back, and striker David Dowson was released to go through one-on-one with the 'keeper, and his scuffed shot found its way through the hands of Josh Cook for a soft opening goal.

Dowson had his second on 27 minutes, bringing down a lofted through ball before cutting inside Craig Robinson and firing a firm left-footed shot in to the bottom corner.

At the other end, very little was created, and the only chances of note were two wild swings by Ashley Ruane, which went high and wide.

Ruane, who started the game wide on the right, got very little change out of Darlington left-back Terry Galbraith, and even after switching with Ciaran Kilheeney, Town's attack struggled to cause problems for the visitors' defence.

A double change at half-time saw the introduction of Aaron Bowen and Peter Dogan, in place of Tony Evans and Gahgan, but the pattern of the game didn't change.

Darlington had control at the back, and were winning the midfield battle, and on the hour mark, they added a third.

The excellent Galbraith whipped in a left-footed cross from the right hand side which was met by the head of Amar Purewal at the back post, and the ball found the top corner, beyond Cook's outstretched hand.

Cook twice had to be alert to prevent breakaway chances, as Town were again sloppy in midfield, and he made a smart stop low to his right to deny Stephen Thompson.

Darlington substitute Dale Hopson almost made it four when his audacious chip fell just wide of Cook's goal, but eventually another goal did come, and it was a second for Purewal, heading home unmarked from Thompson's cross.

It was an afternoon to forget for Shaun Reid's men, and they mustered their only shot on target of the match in the very last minute, Kilheeney springing the offside trap to lash home from Robinson's long ball, to at least give the home support in a 443 crowd something to cheer about.

Warrington: Cook, Davies, Thompson, Meakin (Newby), McCarten, Robinson, Ruane, Mannix, Kilheeney, Evans (Bowen), Gahgan (Dogan). Unused subs: McKenna, Guest.

Darlington: Bell, Pilatos, Galbraith, White, Hunter, Robinson, Davis (Hopson), Scott, Dowson (Fisher), Purewal, Thompson (Weldon). Unused subs: Edwards, Jameson.

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