Warrington Town 2 Hyde United 1

FOR a while, this game looked like a case of déjà vu for Warrington Town.

However, Jake Kirby’s late winner ensured that, unlike last week’s draw with Basford, Yellows’ second-half pressure was not in vain.

In truth, it was just reward for some bold substitutions by manager Paul Carden, who saw two centre-halves go off injured.

Warrington Guardian:

Jake Kirby was Warrington Town's saviour against Hyde United. Picture by John Hopkins

Tony Gray gave the hosts an early lead, which was cancelled out by Nicky Platt’s free kick just before half time.

Results during the week dropped them out of the Evo-Stik Premier Division play-off places, thus putting more emphasis on an already important game.

The pattern became clear from early on, with Hyde happy to let Yellows have possession and hit them on the counter-attack.

That approach nearly created the opening goal, but the dangerous Luke Porritt’s cross was just behind the supporting Tom Pratt.

Yellows were not creating a great deal but crucially, the rub of the green fell their way on 18 minutes.

Hyde failed to properly clear a corner and Jake Kirby pulled the ball back for Gray.

The deflection on his shot could have taken it anywhere, but it wrong-footed goalkeeper Peter Crook and found the bottom corner.

That did not open the floodgates, but there was nearly a spectacular second goal courtesy of Bohan Dixon.

Having been restored to the side in place of Josh Amis, he let fly from all of 30 yards and his effort would have nestled in the top corner had Crook not produced a superb save.

Both sides were forced into reshuffles, with Town skipper Mark Roberts coming off with an eye injury while Hyde’s switch to a back three appeared tactical as Kyle Brownhill was replaced by Jerome Wright.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Roberts is treated for the eye injury that forced him off. Picture by John Hopkins

Whatever the reasoning, it produced the desired response.

After David Raven had clumsily fouled Pratt on the edge of the area, Platt curled the set-piece perfectly into the bottom corner to beat Charlie Albinson.

That proved the cue for the Tigers to finish the half on the front foot – and they perhaps should have ended it in front.

Platt whipped in a wicked set piece which Albinson spilled at the feet of John McCombe.

Thankfully for the on-loan Blackburn keeper, however, the Hyde centre-half could only shovel the loose ball over the bar.

The second half began at the same frantic pace as the first, with Jack Mackreth having a shot beaten away by Crook before Gray prodded Jake Kirby’s pull-back just wide.

Raven then poked wide after a quick set-piece as Town pressed, with Dixon hitting a volley on the turn over the bar.

At the other end, Platt sent another free kick narrowly over the bar as George came off injured, forcing Carden into yet another reshuffle.

As time moved on, history was in danger of repeating itself from last week’s game as Town huffed and puffed without finding the killer touch in attack.

However, with five minutes left, that changed.

Substitute Jack Dunn’s corner was dangerous and when the ball fell for him inside the area, Kirby flashed a drive into the far corner.

Warrington Guardian:

Hyde keeper Peter Crook is left helpless as Jake Kirby's shot flies into his goal. Picture by John Hopkins

That sparked Hyde into action as they sought a late equaliser, but the thrown-together Yellows backline held on admirably.

Warrington Town: Albinson, Duggan, Hughes, Garrity, Roberts (George (Amis)), Raven, Mackreth (Dunn), Evans, Gray, Dixon, Kirby. Subs not used: Benjamin, Reid.