Marine 0 Warrington Town 2

GAMES against local rivals can always be banana skins, especially when players on both sides are so familiar with each other.

However, this was a game Warrington Town very rarely let slip from their control. For most of proceedings, they looked a level above their hosts.

For the third game running, they drew first blood as Bohan Dixon’s daisy-cutter lit up what was a mostly dour first half.

In truth, they had very few nervy moments from then before Tony Gray made sure of victory.

With Evo-Stik Premier Division leaders Scarborough Athletic losing a second game in a row elsewhere, things seem to be bunching up nicely approaching the Christmas period.

READ > Manager Paul Carden's post-match verdict

The early exchanges saw both sides go close, with Jake Kirby seeing an effort cleared off the line by ex-Yellow Liam Hynes before James Murray headed a cross narrowly wide at the other end.

Tackles flew in from both sides as long periods of possession were infrequent.

The game needed a dash of quality, and Dixon provided it just after the half-hour mark.

Picking the ball up outside the area, he showed nimble feet to evade a sliding challenge before crashing a low shot into the corner.

That seemed to put Yellows more at ease, while Marine’s search for a leveller before the break did not stretch them too much.

Indeed, the more likely scenario looked to be Town doubling their lead, but Jake Kirby’s low effort which rolled wide was the closest they came before the sides turned round.

Marine upped the tempo after the break as physicality remained king, with their clearest chance falling to Murray inside the area, who was denied by a fine Mark Roberts block.

Jack Mackreth was Yellows’ key counter-attacking weapon, but he was needed in defence as he raced back to thwart a break after his free kick was cleared.

Slowly but surely, though, Town took back momentum and delivered a killer blow.

They systematically moved the ball around before releasing Adam Hughes on the overlap.

The left-back got to the byline and stood up the perfect cross for Gray to nod home his 10th goal of the season.

From then on, Town flicked into cruise control and every attack looked like it may bring a goal.

They had earned the right to play their football, and they made the most of it.

Even defender Dave Raven nearly got in on the act as he got on the end of a free kick and forced Paddy Wharton into a sharp save at his near post.

They huffed and puffed late on, but the hosts as they never threatened to overhaul Town, who look like they could just be clicking back into form.

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