Warrington Town 2 Stafford Rangers 3

YELLOWS lost top spot in the Evo-Stik Premier Division as an early red card ultimately proved costly at Cantilever Park.

Theodore Bailey-Jones and Luke Jones scored within a minute of each other on the hour mark to decide the game in struggling Stafford Rangers’ favour despite Marcus Cusani setting up a grandstand finish late on.

Bohan Dixon had given Paul Carden’s men the lead minutes after Ben Garrity had been dismissed for a second yellow card, but Stafford skipper Jones equalised on the stroke of half time.

Farsley now jump above Town by two points after winning 2-1 at Hyde with eight games of the campaign remaining.

The wind swirled around Cantilever Park and before either side had chance to fully get used to the difficult conditions, Town found themselves a man down.

Having already been booked for simulation in the penalty area, Garrity piled into a late challenge on Andy Haworth in midfield.

After much consideration, referee Jack Nield deemed the tackle worthy of a second yellow card and the ever-present midfielder was sent for an early bath.

Not that Yellows let it bother them initially as they were in front just five minutes later.

Dylan Vassallo’s deep free kick was knocked back across goal by Mark Roberts and Dixon was waiting in the six-yard box to steer it home.

Warrington Guardian:

Warrington Guardian:

Town now had something to protect and while Stafford had a lot of the ball, they were struggling to make their numerical advantage count.

It looked as if Yellows would survive until the break with their lead intact, but the struggling visitors had other ideas.

After Roberts had superbly blocked Jake Charles’ goalbound effort, the hosts squandered numerous chances to clear the resulting corner.

After Dixon and Alex Whittle both tried and failed to get the ball away, Jones worked space for himself to squeeze a shot beneath Tony McMillan.

With Josh Amis being thrown on at the break to try and keep Stafford’s three-man defence more occupied, Yellows quite literally threw caution to the wind.

They had the first chance of the second period as well, with Dixon curling a free kick straight at Rangers keeper Adam Siviter.

With Town now lining up in a narrower shape, Stafford tried to maximise the width of the pitch as much as possible to stretch the 10-man hosts.

Ben Mills flicked a header just wide after beating McMillan to Haworth’s teasing cross, but it was a warning Yellows did not heed.

A long throw in from Thomas Thorley caused chaos in the Town box and Bailey-Jones was sharp to fire beyond McMillan.

Before Yellows had the chance to recover, Rangers hit them with another devastating blow.

Jones was allowed a free run to get on the end of a corner and he powered a header home for his second of the afternoon.

Bailey-Jones then hooked an effort just over the bar as Stafford threatened to cut loose, picking Town off on the counter as they were forced to open up.

Yellows had to force the issue and they pushed Stafford back, with home debutant Cusani looking lively after replacing Connor McCarthy.

He had a great chance to pull one back after linking up with Amis on the edge of the area, but he shot well over when he should have at least hit the target.

As time ran out, though, so did Town’s chances of salvaging something from the game.

However, when all seemed lost, Cusani provided hope when Vassallo’s cross deflected into his path and his finish was emphatic.

Stafford went into preservation mode as Yellows piled forward, with Amis having a header superbly saved by Siviter, and it was enough to preserve their victory.

Warrington Town: McMillan, Beeley, Whittle, Garrity, Roberts, Raven, Mackreth (Amis), Evans, Dixon (Benjamin), McCarthy (Cusani), Vassallo. Subs not used: Hughes, Duggan