Warrington Town 1 Lancaster City 1

PAUL Carden will happily admit his side got away with one today.

After a sub-par display, Tony Gray bailed them out with a superb injury-time free kick.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Tony Gray's free kick in pictures. Pictures by John Hopkins

A victory would have sent them second of the Evo-Stik Premier Division but struggling Lancaster City had other ideas.

Brad Carsley got their winner late on after Adam Hughes’ red card for Town, but they will feel devastated at the nature of how Town rescued a share of the spoils.

In truth, the visitors were well worthy of alol three points after a flat display from Carden’s men at Cantilever Park.

With fellow promotion contenders South Shields and Farsley Celtic playing each other and Nantwich Town having their game at Buxton postponed, Yellows had a golden opportunity to gain ground on some of their rivals.

Lancaster came into this game occupying the final relegation spot – not that it showed in the first half.

They carried more snap and bite in their tackles as the evergreen David Norris helped their midfield gain control.

Charlie Bailey had a couple of openings – including one in the opening minute when he curled over the bar – as they edged the first half.

Yellows were restricted to counter-attacking opportunities in the opening period but Lancaster had the answer more often than not.

Gray had the home side’s clearest opening as he twisted and turned into some space, but his shot was easy for Dolly Blues keeper Jack Sims to deal with.

Sims’ opposite number Tony McMillan had to be a bit sharper to keep out the half’s best chance as he came off his line well to deny Brad Carsley.

Town had muted appeals for a penalty as Gray appeared to be dragged down as he chased Jack Mackreth’s cross, but referee Jamie Rhodes waved away the shouts and that summed up a frustrating first period for Town.

Yellows brought Josh Amis on for a bit of extra physicality in attack and just after he came on, Adam Hughes glanced a header.

At the other end, McMillan saved well from Robert Wilson’s half-volley before Brad Carsley fired the rebound high over the bar.

Just as in the first half, Lancaster were the side pushing, playing the better football and winning the 50-50 challenges.

However, Yellows created the next big chance as Amis got across his man to flick Adam Hughes’ low cross goalwards, but he could not hit the target.

As the game reached its’ final quarter, Town sensed the opportunity and started to push.

However, after McMillan denied Lancaster sub Ryan Winder with a superb point-blank save, the wind was taken out of their sails.

After the visitors were given a free kick, Hughes lashed the ball at the grounded player and left the referee little option but to show the red card.

Lancaster then pushed for the winner they felt their efforts deserved.

After Ben Garrity was forced to clear a looping header off the line, they did just that from the resulting corner as Carsley turned home from inside the area.

It looked like being the winner until the dying embers of injury time.

After Town were awarded a contentious free kick on the edge of the area, Gray stepped up to curl into the top corner and send Cantilever Park into delirium.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Duggan, Hughes, Garrity, Roberts, Raven, Mackreth (Whittle), Evans, Gray, McCarthy (Amis), Dunn (Reid). Subs not used: Beeley, Gumbs.