SHAUN Reid believes Jay McCarten can be key to Warrington Town’s promotion bid after starring in a goalless draw at Cammell Laird on Saturday.

The central defender returned after injury, replacing absent skipper David Mannix, and dealt with the threat posed by ex-Yellows forward Jamie Henders.

“He did brilliantly,” said Reid.

“We looked a lot more solid; it was a massive improvement.

“I said we needed to get back to doing what we’re good at, which is keeping clean sheets, and they did that.”

McCarten had Town's best two chances of the first half, a curling free kick that was pushed around a post before he then headed over from the resulting corner.

Aaron Bowen’s flicked header found Town’s top scorer Ciaran Kilheeney free in the box, but he was unable to convert on the hour.

The hosts failed to test keeper Josh Ollerenshaw throughout.

Danger man Henders’ spectacular overhead kick dropped wide before the forward later attempted to beat the Yellows’ shot-stopper from long distance.

Substitutes Ashley Ruane and Ben Wharton combined twice in the closing stages, but Town were unable to break the deadlock.

Victory for leaders Curzon Ashton at Burscough on Tuesday night leaves the Tameside outfit four points clear before this weekend’s matches.

They replaced Yellows at the summit following a 2-0 victory at Salford City last Saturday.

John Flanagan’s men have two games in hand on Town, who host third-placed Farsley on Saturday.

“There are 33 points at stake but it’s not in our hands now,” admitted Reid.

“At the beginning of the season, if we’d said we look like we’re going to make the play-offs then everyone would have been happy.

“Farsley are well-organised, but I’m hoping we can take confidence from Saturday’s display.”

Mannix, recovering from a hamstring strain, should be fit.