Matlock Town 0 Warrington Town 2

WHILE the title continues to look odds-against, Yellows now know they are at the very least guaranteed a play-off spot.

Jack Dunn and Tony Gray struck in the second half to earn another important three points – this time at the expense of mid-table Matlock Town.

With main rivals Farsley Celtic and South Shields also picking up victories, it was imperative Paul Carden’s side kept pace at the very least.

In that sense, it was mission accomplished.

Rather unlike the quagmires that can sometimes greet teams at this time of year, the pitch at the picturesque Proctor Cars Stadium was bone-dry and extremely bobbly.

Quality of pass was all-important and while they often got into decent positions, Yellows rarely found it.

Dunn looked their most likely outlet on the left wing as he saw a dangerous low cross cleared before steering Mitch Duggan’s right-footed delivery just wide.

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Dunn was a productive outlet on the left wing for Town. Picture by John Hopkins

Not much was happening at the other end either, but Tony McMillan was forced into the only save of a forgettable first half as he spread himself well to deny Jonny Margetts.

Bohan Dixon lashed a wild shot over the bar before Tony Gray fired a free kick into the wall as Matlock keeper Ross Durrant was largely unemployed.

That changed shortly after half time, although his duties really should have extended to picking the ball out of the net.

A superb ball from Dixon released Mackreth, who timed his run perfectly but his finish was tame and straight at a relieved Durrant.

Town were starting to find more joy, with Dixon in particular finding more space to work his magic.

Mackreth again shot straight at Durrant as he punched Adam Hughes’ cross into his path, but the breakthrough was not long in coming.

Ben Garrity hacked a Matlock free kick clear and Dunn raced onto it.

With the home side screaming for offside, Dunn beat Durrant to the ball and kept his feet to slot into the empty net.

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Dunn steers home the opening goal. Picture by John Hopkins

Town dropped deeper and invited Matlock onto them, but McMillan was not tested.

Indeed, more opportunities were opening up for Yellows on the break and with a little over 15 minutes left, they exploited one.

Mackreth was released down the right wing and, after linking up well with Duggan, his cross picked out Gray.

Yellows’ top scorer was surrounded, but he twisted into a shooting position and found the bottom corner with remarkable precision.

Matlock were not deterred from pressing – Craig Westcarr coming closest as he shovelled an effort over the bar – but the visitors always looked in control.

Garrity and Robbie Evans were policing the midfield excellently while Dixon was bamboozling the hosts with his movement and clever passing as Yellows saw out the remainder of the contest in a controlled fashion.

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