9:36am Wednesday 14th March 2012
Warrington Town 3 Radcliffe Borough 1
TOWN returned to winning ways last night, extending their record in 2012 to one defeat in 13 games.
Manager Joey Dunn making a number of changes to the starting eleven.
Mike Duffy returned after suspension, replacing Nick Jackson, while recent signing Andy Heald, who has returned to the club from Curzon Ashton, replaced the injured Kyle Hamid in the starting line up.
Among the substitutes was new signing Ross Farran, a striker, who has signed for the club from Evostik NPL Southern Division outfit Leek Town.
It was Heald, on his second debut, who went close early on, shooting narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.
As Town took control of the game, they were awarded a penalty in the 12th minute when Chris Thompson was fouled in the box.
Dale Wright stepped up and drove the penalty home, straight down the middle past a stranded Martin Campbell.
Town continued to dominate the game and centre back River Humphreys was next to go close, seeing his volley from the edge of the penalty area tipped over the bar by Campbell.
Town still had to be on their guard because the visitors launched an occasional foray into the Town penalty area, and on one such occasion, Town keeper Paul Pritchard had to be alert to deny Radcliffe striker Andy Bell.
On the half hour, Town went further ahead, when Collins got on the end of some fantastic build-up play to coolly slot beyond Campbell and into the net.
Town were playing some of the best football they have played this season and some of the interplay was a joy to behold.
Owen Roberts shot wide of the upright before Collins’s overhead kick went straight at Campbell as Town went in two goals to the good for the second consecutive Tuesday evening.
Unlike the previous midweek game at Wakefield, Town began the second half well, with Wright seeing his powerful effort deflected narrowly over the bar by the Radcliffe rearguard.
Five minutes into the half, Town extended their lead, Heald getting on the end of an excellent build up to slot home from a narrow angle.
The third goal killed off the game and the game somewhat changed as Town took their feet off the pedals and allowed their visitors into the game.
Town did go close soon after, though, Heald shooting narrowly over from 15 yards.
The closest Town came to adding to their tally was just after the hour, when Wright saw his header from six yards saved fantastically low down by Campbell, before Heald collected striker Chris Thompson's delicious back heel only to see Campbell smother the shot at close range.
As the game wore on, Radcliffe came more and more into the game and with eight minutes left pulled a goal back, substitute striker Declan Fletcher seeing his shot go in off the upright to make the last eight minutes nervous for those fans who had witnessed the Wakefield comeback eight days earlier.
Shortly after, Dunn introduced Farran to the game, handing the young striker a debut in place of the industrious Allan Collins.
The visitors did give Town one more scare before the final whistle, Fletcher seeing his towering header from a corner striking the top of the crossbsar and subsequently going out of play.
Town: Pritchard, Duffy, Roberts, Humphreys, Tomlinson (c), Cross, Wright, Heald (2nd Debut) (Adamson, 79), Collins (Farran, 82), Thompson (Salmon, 74), Shipton, subs not used: Ness, Jackson.
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