PAUL Carden says Warrington Town deserved their 2-1 victory at Altrincham and says his substitutes played a key role in turning the FA Trophy first-round replay in their favour.

Jamie McDonald’s injury-time winner completed a dramatic turnaround for Yellows, minutes after Liam Goulding had cancelled out Jordan Hulme’s opener at Moss Lane.

Victory means Yellows will travel to National League side Ebbsfleet United in the second round as they inflicted the Robins’ first defeat in all competitions since September.

Report: Altrincham 1 Yellows 2

“From the minute Altrincham scored, I fancied us. From then, we were first class,” Carden said.

“In the first half, I thought they were the better side but a lot of their good stuff came from our bad stuff.

“We spoke about their strength through the middle of the pitch so we needed to force them outside, which we were doing but when we were winning the ball back we were going straight back down the middle.

“We needed to get it wide with the spaces in front of their full-backs, but we kept trying eye-of-the-needle balls through the middle and got picked off.

“It was good to go in at half-time at 0-0 as Tony did really well with a couple of their chances.

“We started a little bit tetchy then they’ve scored from a corner, which was poor from us.

“From then on in, we were the better team and we deserved to win.”

Yellows seized the momentum after Stephen Milne and Jamie Davis had been brought off the bench to replace James Barrigan and Tony Gray respectively.

Milne, making his Warrington debut after his recent move from Bootle, caused problems on the right wing while Davis looked assured in central midfield.

In a squad hit by injuries and departures, Carden was impressed by the impact his bench players had in such a big game.

“We were forced into picking the team we started with. Adam Carden is struggling with his hip, we’re trying to build Steve Jennings up to the point where he can play Saturday-Tuesday more,” the Yellows boss said.

“He was struggling before the game, it was touch and go whether we could use him.

“We couldn’t use Adam, so we had four subs, three of them outfield, two of them young and untried, but they came on and made a difference.

“It’s been tough for Ste because we had 10 men at Shaw Lane so couldn’t get him on, then we’ve had games called off and we had Alty at home on Saturday when it was tight,” Yellows boss Carden said.

“We wanted to get him on as he’s chomping at the bit and he showed what he’s about, aggression and pace.

“He goes at people and he makes things happen.

“I’ve been speaking about Jamie Davis for a long time, he is going to be a proper, proper footballer.

“Steve Jennings, who’s played hundreds of league games, has said he didn’t realise how good he was.

“It’s the positions he takes, his movement and the way he receives the ball that’s league calibre. He’s a great kid and he’s got a big future.”