PAUL Carden described Warrington Town’s win at Stalybridge as “dogged with flashes of quality.”

The Yellows boss watched his side win 2-1 at Bower Fold as goals from Tony Gray and Dylan Vassallo made sure they capitalised on slip-ups by rivals Farsley Celtic and South Shields, who both drew their games.

Town have now leapfrogged Shields into second place – closing the gap to leaders Farsley to just two points.

“It’s just a big, big three points for us. It was a real dogged performance with flashes of quality,” Carden said.

“It was a tough game with the heat and a dry, bumpy pitch.

“We caused our own problems at times in the first half. They didn’t overly hurt us but we were trying to pass balls when the pitch isn’t really conducive to it.

“We were putting people in problem positions. They put the ball in areas and made us work towards our own goal but we handled it.

“We scored a great goal and probably should have had another before half time.

“The second half was comfortable – we score a good second goal and have two or three chances after that – but then we concede a sloppy goal.

“That gives them a bit of a lift and they started launching balls forward, but we still had chances after that.”

> Yellows move into second and close gap on leaders

Gray’s individual display caught the eye as his stunning free kick gave Yellows the lead before an exquisite through ball set up Vassallo for the second goal.

Carden was full of praise for his veteran frontman, who now takes his goals tally for the season to 17 in all competitions.

“Tony Gray was outstanding today. He was quality for us,” he said.

“He has a lot of legs and ability to link up with and in the first 15 minutes of the second half in particular, they couldn’t get near enough of them.

“We were winding Tony up saying it (the free kick) took a deflection!

“It was an absolute Exocet really – it was in as soon as it left his foot.

“We’d had two free kicks direct and Dunny put one over the stand and one into the wall.

“I think Tony played the seniority card to push him off the next one and stuck it in the top corner.”

Yellows now know that, regardless of what happens elsewhere, a victory over Witton Albion on Easter Monday will take the title race into the season’s final day.

While their position may have strengthened, Carden will not be changing his “focus on ourselves” mantra.

“I called that there would be wobbles along the way and that we’d have to capitalise,” he said.

“We can only win our games. There’s a lot of managers in our positions who say that but deep down, the guys at South Shields and Farsley will be wanting us to lose like we want them to lose.

“Ultimately, we can only win our own games and that’s what we have to focus on.

“If they slip up and drop points again, we’ve got to be ready.”