Completing the set

ON paper at least, this was the most presentable of Yellows’ festive fixtures.

A home game to round off a run of four games in 10 days against a side that had won just once away from home all season is about as good as they could have hoped for.

They took a while to get going and were fortunate to go into half-time level (more on that later), but they were too good for Bamber Bridge once they hit their stride.

When looking at Town’s Christmas fixtures, I thought seven or eight points would be a decent return.

Here they sit having taken 12, all while managing the game time of the likes of Tony Gray and Jack Mackreth.

Connor McCarthy and Dom Reid have proved more than reliable alternatives for those two, meaning the squad is looking in fine shape.

READ > How Yellows eventually swept Brig aside

READ > Post-match reaction from manager Paul Carden

Ben Garrity wins a header against Bamber Bridge. Picture by John Hopkins

Charlie’s parting gift

THE fact Yellows did not face a tricky road back from a losing position yesterday was down to their on-loan goalkeeper.

When Mark Roberts gave away a first-half penalty, it looked for all the world as if Alistair Waddecar – Bamber Bridge’s reliable top goalscorer – would punish them.

However, in what is set to be his final game in a Warrington shirt, Albinson dived to his left to keep out the penalty and smother the rebound.

It was a truly massive moment in the game and was key in shifting the momentum in Town’s favour.

Albinson has grown in stature and maturity during his spell at Cantilever Park and he will surely consider himself a better player as a result of his loan move.

If that was indeed his final game for the club, the penalty save truly was the perfect parting gift.

Charlie Albinson saves Alistair Waddecar's penalty. Picture by John Hopkins

Connor on the spot

THE squad rotation policy adopted by Paul Carden over Christmas has allowed Connor McCarthy to make his impact on the team.

He has started two of the four games over the festive period, and on Tuesday he was finally rewarded.

With lightning pace, an incredibly high work rate and a poacher’s instinct, McCarthy looks set to prove a valuable addition.

The latter of those three qualities proved telling for both of his goals against Bamber Bridge, even if his second owed a lot to some poor goalkeeping from Brig stopper Danny Roccia.

Scoring his first goals since returning to the club will hopefully give McCarthy the boost in confidence he needs to set him off on a good run of form.

Connor McCarthy is congratulated on one of his goals by Jack Dunn. Picture by John Hopkins

A note of caution

DESPITE their winning run extending to seven games, those within the Town dressing room are not naïve enough to think everything is going perfectly.

While there is so much to be excited about, there are chinks in the armour that need to be addressed.

Paul Carden has admitted that he has been less than impressed with some of his side’s first-half displays in recent weeks.

Over Christmas, Yellows trailed at half-time to Buxton and fell behind after just eight minutes at Basford – albeit they equalised almost immediately.

Against Bamber Bridge, they were once again below-par in the first half before a big improvement after the break.

While it may seem trivial, the professionalism within the dressing room at the moment will see them keen to iron it out as the league’s big hitters will not allow them time to settle.

Yellows have also given away penalties in three successive games – something unlike their water-tight defence.

Town were often swamped by Bamber Bridge defenders in the first half on New Year's Day. Picture by John Hopkins

True test of title chances

THE next two games will be a key indicator of where third-place Yellows stand in terms of their title chances.

Saturday’s trip to second-place Farsley Celtic is huge, with the Celts only above Town on goals scored as both sides sit one point behind leaders Nantwich Town.

With the Dabbers facing a tricky trip to Gainsborough on Saturday, the winner of the Farsley-Warrington game could conceivably find themselves top of the tree come 5pm.

Yellows go into the game on the back of seven straight wins. The only team in better form? You guessed it – Farsley, who have won nine in a row.

Another long trip follows on January 12 as Town travel to Scarborough Athletic, who are still in the mix despite their recent slump in form.

Should Yellows emerge from these two games unbeaten, it will do their title chances the world of good.

Yellows were beaten 2-0 by Saturday's opponents Farsley Celtic on the opening day of the season. Picture by John Hopkins