Warrington Town 3 Salford City 1
THREE first half goals were enough to secure Warrington Town a return to the top of the league table with a 3-1 victory over Salford City.
Ciaran Kilheeney scored a brace either side of Carlos Meakin's tap in to put the hosts well in control at half time, and despite significant pressure from Salford in the second half, all they could muster was Mark Battersby's well taken goal with the very last kick of the game.
With title rivals Curzon Ashton frustrated by yet another postponement, it presented an opportunity for Shaun Reid's men to reclaim top spot, and the manager handed a debut to Richard Wright, a recent loan signing from Fleetwood Town.
It was another recent signing Louis Corrigan who created the first chance, his lofted ball finding Meakin, who sidefooted wide on the volley.
Playing with the wind, Town took advantage, and it was a long ball by Craig Robinson that released Kilheeney for his first goal, as he rounded goalkeeper Daniel Fradd and slotted home in to the empty net.
By the half way point of the first period, it was two. Salford failed to clear a dangerous cross by Richard Anane, and Ben Wharton managed to get the ball under control and square for Meakin to tap in from six yards.
Salford were struggling to get out of their own half, and Wharton almost got on the scoresheet with a great solo run and shot, but he was well denied by Fradd.
The visitors did muster a chance before the break, Jamie Tandy's left foot volley whistling just wide, but Kilheeney's second goal five minutes before the break left them with too much to do.
Salford did, however, have a go in the second half, partially aided by the difficult conditions.
It took until the 72nd minute until Josh Ollerenshaw was really tested in the Town goal though. Matthew Purcell's shot was parried out and substitute Robert Kinsella really should have done better from the rebound.
The visitors earned a succession of corners, and Ollerenshaw pulled off two excellent saves in quick succession from Battersby, before tipping over a wind-assisted free-kick from inside his own half by Richard Smith.
As the game entered the last 10 minutes, the efforts of Ollerenshaw looked to have put paid to the contest, and he was unfortunate to be denied a clean sheet when Battersby was released in injury time, and made no mistake.
The three points mean Town now hold a one point lead over Curzon Ashton at the top, although their rivals do have three games in hand.
Warrington: Ollerenshaw, Anane, Corrigan, Meakin, Robinson, McKenna, Kilheeney (Glass), Mannix, Wharton (Ruane), Wright, Metcalfe. Unused subs: Thompson, Gahgan, Bowen.
Salford: Fradd, Smith, Browne, Edghill, Walters, Gaskin, Messer, Purcell, Ahmadi (Kinsella), Battersby, Tandy (McDonald). Unused subs: Hont, Cook, Collins-Reed.