Warrington Town 4 Wakefield 0

TOWN returned to the top of the Evo-Stik Division One North table courtesy of a 4-0 thumping of Wakefield.

Prior to kick off there was a minutes applause in memory of life-long fan Rick Parkins, who died recently aged just 37. His son Thomas led out the teams.

An early goal from Ben Wharton set Warrington on their way, before goals from Scott Metcalfe, Carlos Meakin and Liam Dawson made the points safe after the break.

With Curzon Ashton's game at home to Northwich postponed, a win enabled Shaun Reid's team to reclaim the top spot they lost on New Year's Day, when their own game against Northwich was called off.

Having already thrashed Wakefield 7-0 in the reverse fixture, Town had the ball in the net inside six minutes, when Scott Metcalfe sprung the offside trap and squared to Ben Wharton for a tap in.

With Craig Robinson suspended, John McKenna started at centre half and the returning Louis Corrigan was handed a debut at left-back following his arrival from Marine.

Corrigan almost marked his return, inadvertently, with what would have been an unfortunate own goal, when goalkeeper Josh Ollerenshaw completely miskicked his back pass and just about managed to recover the ball before it trickled over the goal line, no doubt assisted by a boggy goalmouth.

Wakefield were much changed from the last meeting between the two sides and they battled stoutly, Luke Durham having their best chance when he forced a scrambling save from Ollerenshaw.

Town should have gone in at the break with a two goal lead, but wasted a host of chances in the latter stages of the first half.

First, Wharton got in behind the defence and wasted an opportunity with Metcalfe waiting on the far side, while Chris Gahgan probably should have shot when released through on goal.

Captain David Mannix saw a curling free kick headed over the bar by a defender, and then Metcalfe stabbed over from close range off Ciaran Kilheeney's teasing ball in.

Wakefield reminded Town that they could still be a threat, with Robert Boardman firing a free kick just wide.

The visitors made an encouraging start to the second half, and as time wore on you felt Town needed to find a second goal.

It finally came shortly after the hour mark.

Ollerenshaw claimed a dangerous free kick from Boardman and his quick throw sent Kilheeney racing away on the counter attack.

The striker beat a man and then passed across to Metcalfe, who blasted home left-footed from the edge of the box.

That broke the hearts of the visitors and it wasn't long until it was 3-0, Carlos Meakin glancing a header into the far post from substitute Liam Dawson's curling free kick.

Dawson, whose introduction prior to the second goal certainly had an impact on the home side, got himself on the scoresheet late on, firing a low left-footed drive past Neal May in the 89th minute.

The final scoreline was a fitting tribute to Rick Parkins.

The top two clash next weekend when Warrington travel to Curzon, who are a point behind the Yellows with three games in hand.

Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Anane, Corrigan, Meakin, McCarten, McKenna, Gahgan (Dawson), Mannix (Guest), Kilheeney, Wharton (Ruane), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Bowen, Davies.