PAUL Carden says utilising the wide areas was the key for his Warrington Town side as they won at Matlock Town.

Jack Dunn, who operated on the left wing, and Tony Gray were on target in a 2-0 win that secured a play-off place at worst for Yellows.

> How Yellows booked their play-off spot

After a scrappy first half, Town stepped up the intensity in the second half, with Dunn and Jack Mackreth among the tormentors-in-chief.

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Mackreth was lively in the second half. Picture by John Hopkins

Carden told his side to use their wingers more at half-time and it was a strategy that paid dividends.

“I’m delighted with the performance, especially in the second half,” he told the Guardian.

“It was about getting the ball wide. That was always going to be telling.

“Jack Mackreth got in behind them a couple of times, as did Jack Dunn.

“Our wide players were causing them problems and I told the lads at half-time that we had to stay wider.

“Jack Dunn scored and Tony Gray did what Tony Gray does.

“He is quality, but we’ve had a lot of good performances today.”

Warrington Guardian:

Tony Gray twists and turns into a scoring position. Picture by John Hopkins

The pitch at the Proctor Cars Stadium was dry and bobbly and it made lift difficult for both sides in the first half.

Neither team was able to create a serious opening in a forgettable opening period but Carden says he always felt his side had matters in hand.

“We had to play a controlled game,” he said.

“Sometimes you have to control the game without the ball when it’s a scrappy game and the pitch is dry and bouncy.

“We did that in the first half. The breeze was quite strong but it settled right down after half time.

“Their right-back had a long throw which they played for and it caused us a couple of problems but we saw it out.

“We took control in the second half. From minute one of that half, there was only going to be one winner.”

While Dunn and Gray will take the acclaim, plenty of Carden’s players impressed.

Bohan Dixon – playing in the number 10 role just behind frontman Gray – caused Matlock plenty of problems while behind him, Robbie Evans and Ben Garrity broke play up superbly.

“Bohan was outstanding today. At times he can be frustrating but you always know he has that little bit of skill and quality in him,” Carden said.

“He had a touch in the first half that took two of their players out of the game and their number four ends up getting booked for bringing him down.

“Some of his threaded balls from deep were superb.

“Ben and Robbie covered every blade of grass and our centre-halves held us together.

“I’ve been on Mitch Duggan’s back a little bit because I know he can perform better and he did today. He took everything on board.”

Warrington Guardian:

Mitch Duggan earned credit for his performance from Paul Carden. Picture by John Hopkins

With title rivals Farsley Celtic and South Shields both recording victories, it is as you were in the promotion race with Yellows trailing the former by four points with five games remaining.

By beating Whitby Town on Tuesday, Carden’s side will ensure they finish no lower than third and will thus guarantee a home play-off semi-final.