Town bag first win of season

Ben Wharton. Pictures by John Hopkins

Chris Simm

Lewis Field

Jay McCarten

Scott Metcalfe's goal

First published in Sport

Warrington Town 3 Ossett Town 1

WARRINGTON Town got their first goals and first win of the new season at Cantilever Park on Saturday.

Scott Metcalfe scored twice and centre-half Tom Hardwick was also on the scoresheet as the hosts got off the mark, although they perhaps made harder work of it than they would have liked having led 2-0 at half-time.

The opening goal came inside seven minutes, as a bouncing ball wasn't dealt with by the Ossett defence, and Ben Wharton managed to hold off a defender and get a shot away, which was saved by the goalkeeper, only for Metcalfe to head home from the subsequent rebound.

Neither side had a real grip on the game in the opening quarter of an hour, and Ossett's only real sighting at goal came when left-back Steven Jeff headed right across goal having sneaked in on the far side.

On 25 minutes, Warrington doubled their lead. A deep free-kick by Matt Doughty was finished superbly by Hardwick with a diving header, at the back post.

That triggered a purple patch for Shaun Reid's men, and they almost had a third minutes later when Lee Parle's nicely weighted through ball set Wharton through on goal, only for a last-ditch tackle by Nick Wood to deny him.

Wharton was denied twice more before the break, first seeing a poked shot well saved by the goalkeeper, and just as he was about to finish the rebound, Jeff stole the ball away from the Town frontman's toes.

Ossett had been largely disapponting save for the first 15 minutes, and the 2-0 deficit prompted a change from them at the break, with James Davies replacing David Brown.

Whatever words were spoken at half time worked for the visitors, and they were back in the game within seven minutes of the restart.

Rob Boardman collected the ball from a throw-in, turned and finished past Andy Robertson, making his second debut for the club, in the Town goal.

Warrington had lost their handle on the game, although Ossett created little in the shape of clear cut changes.

The game started to break up with a spate of yellow cards handed out in what wasn't a dirty game, although Town midfielder Conor Roberts was perhaps fortunate only to have seen yellow for a foul on Nathan Curtis.

The result was put beyond doubt on 80 minutes though, when substitute Chris Simm, who made his presence felt in his time on the pitch, was fouled in the box after battling to win the ball back on the edge.

Metcalfe stepped up, and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot for his second goal.

That relieved the pressure from the home side, and they should have added a couple more in the closing stages.

Simm was joined by another substitute, Anthony Hickey, and they linked up well on several occasions.

First, Simm was put through on goal before his tame shot was comfortably stopped by the goalkeeper, and then Hickey had a golden chance saved after Chris Gahgan had sprung the offside trap and sent a low ball in across the goalmouth.

Hickey then turned provider, racing away on the left and pulling back for Simm, who should have done better, and ended up firing the ball well over the bar, and Town were forced to settle for three goals and, more importantly, three points.

Warrington: Robertson, Field, Doughty, Parle, McCarten, Hardwick, Roberts, Corrigan (Gahgan), Wharton (Hickey), Jones (Simm), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Davies, Ruane.

Ossett: Dixon, Hepworth, Jeff, Wood, Brown (Davies), Armstrong, Ovington, Merries, Boardman, Wood (O'Neill), Curtis (Whiteley).

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