Town return to winning ways

Warrington Guardian: Liam Dawson charges forward against Harrogate Railway Athletic. Picture by John Hopkins Liam Dawson charges forward against Harrogate Railway Athletic. Picture by John Hopkins

Warrington Town 2 Harrogate Railway Athletic 0

WARRINGTON Town will celebrate Christmas at the top of Evo-Stik League First Division North courtesy of a 2-0 win over Harrogate Railway Athletic.

Second half goals from Ciaran Kilheeney and Chris Gahgan settled the game and a welcome three points for Town after back-to-back defeats against Darlington and Lancaster City.

Striker Aaron Bowen had the first two chances of the match, firing over a half volley on the turn, and then heading over from David Thompson's curling left wing cross.

At the other end, Harrogate striker Nathan Cartman twice sprung the offside trap to first lob past goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw, making his Town debut after joining on loan from Fleetwood, only to see the ball drop wide of the far post, and then get a cross over to Rob Youhill, who should have done better at the far post.

After Bowen had hesitated and wasted a one-on-one twice, visiting goalkeeper Peter Crook pulled off two fine saves in quick succession to keep the game goalless at half time.

First he kept out Scott Metcalfe's fierce left footed drive with a one handed stop, and then parried out James McCarten's header from the resulting corner.

With the score at 0-0, Harrogate started the second half brightest, with enterprising midfielder Alex Metcalfe firing just over from 25 yards.

It was only when Town manager Shaun Reid made changes to his line-up that the home side were able to find a breakthrough.

Chris Gahgan was introduced for Bowen, allowing Kilheeney to move up front, and he didn't disappoint, prodding home his ninth goal of the season after Liam Dawson's through ball.

That triggered a spell of sustained pressure for Town, and Crook pulled off another fine save, pushing Dawson's instinctive left-foot half volley on to the crossbar.

There was very little action up the other end, and in fact Ollerenshaw was never called in to shot stopping action, but did show calmness in claiming a couple of crosses.

Town eased the nerves of their fans with seven minutes to play when Metcalfe and Thompson combined to get the ball in to the box, and Gahgan turned to shoot home from six yards out for 2-0.

The win maintains Town's three point lead at the top of the table, and brings up 50 points for the season.

They are in action over the festive period against Prescot Cables (away) on Boxing Day, Clitheroe (away) next Saturday and Northwich Victoria (home) on New Year's Day.

Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Davies, Thompson, Dogan, McCarten, Robinson, Kilheeney, Mannix (Guest), Bowen (Gahgan), Dawson (Ruane), Metcalfe.

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