Clitheroe 1 Warrington Town 0

A SOFT penalty seven minutes from time helped condemn Warrington to a third defeat in December.

Substitute Ash Ruane was judged to have pushed Clitheroe's Ross Dent in the back inside the area, and although Josh Ollerenshaw got down superbly to deny Danny Wilkins from the resulting spot kick, the taker reacted quickest to fire home the rebound.

The second half had been largely a scrappy affair, with the referee's whistle far too frequent, and Town's woes were compounded in injury time when Peter Dogan saw red for his reaction to a protest over a foul he had conceded.

Town had been boosted by the return of Ben Wharton, who started up front, and the striker had the best two chances of a fairly even first half.

After an uneventful opening 20 minutes, Wharton headed over from Dogan's right-wing cross, before David Mannix forced Clitheroe goalkeeper Adam Reid in to a save from a free kick.

Reid had to get down to his right to stop Scott Metcalfe's low drive from the left, but the best chance fell to Wharton on the half-hour mark. A poor clearance landed at his feet in midfield, and he knocked the ball round a defender to bear down on the goalkeeper, only to see his shot well saved by Reid.

At the other end, Ollerenshaw didn't see much action, as Clitheroe lacked composure in the final third.

They did their best to correct that after the break, and Wilkins forced a save out of the goalkeeper early in the second half.

Clitheroe gradually started to get more territory and possession, while Town struggled to keep the ball in the opponents' half, despite the presence of big man Aaron Bowen, on for Liam Dawson up front.

The pressure finally told after a sequence of corners, when Ruane's enthusiasm to win the ball back resulted in him conceding a penalty.

Ollerenshaw got down superbly to his left to keep the spot kick out, but was left downbeat when the rebound found the back of the net.

That left seven minutes, plus four added on, for Town to find an equaliser, but they failed to carve out any clear cut opportunities and suffered a fifth league defeat of the season.

Clitheroe: Reid, Wedge, Walker, James, Freeland, Morton, Dent, Wilkins, Dean (Lee), Miller, Garner (Byram). Unused subs: Cartwright, Collinge, Johnstone.

Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Davies, Kennedy, Dogan, McCarten, Robinson, Kilheeney (Ruane), Mannix, Wharton (Gahgan), Dawson (Bowen), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Newby, McKenna.