NOT many observers would have had this one down as an away win prior to kick off.

However, given Warrington Town’s struggles at home and the squad situation they currently find themselves in, is it really that much of a surprise?

Credit has to go to Stalybridge for what was a classic away performance.

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They came with a plan – allow Yellows possession of the ball and when they coughed it up, break at pace.

They stuck to it rigidly and it worked a treat.

The powerful Craig Hobson was a focal point – everything stuck to him and he brought pacey duo Darius Osei and Berat Ustabasi into play frequently.

In truth though, Yellows played into their hands.

They were too quick to go from back to front and for all his qualities, Tony Gray was never likely to have much joy in the air against the Celts’ two centre-halves.

Warrington Guardian:

Tony Gray was kept quiet by the Stalybridge defence. Picture by John Hopkins

The visitors swarmed all over second balls and when the time came to defend, they threw their bodies in the way of everything and on-loan Manchester United goalkeeper Alex Fojticek commanded his area with aplomb.

Town’s performance was missing a number of things – chief among them somebody to hold the ball up and a creative player to unpick the massed Stalybridge ranks.

Would Josh Amis and Bohan Dixon have helped? We will never know.

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While they may be unbeaten on the road, this was a third league home defeat of the season already for Town – as many as in the entirety of the last campaign.

What is going wrong? What is it about playing on their own turf that is vexing them currently?

At the moment, teams are coming to Cantilever Park with similar plans to Stalybridge’s and they are struggling to break them down.

Alex Byrne’s crossing is generally superb and it has provided a fair percentage of their goals this season, but it cannot be their only route to goal.

Warrington Guardian:

Crosses into the box look Town's most likely route to goal at the moment. Picture by John Hopkins

They have to find another way and at the moment, they are struggling to do that.

Home is generally where the heart is, but not at the moment. With two more home games to come, it is something they will have to remedy quickly.

If they produce a similar kind of flat display in upcoming games against Ashton and Hyde, they will find themselves out of the FA Trophy and having dropped more precious league points.

A free midweek has come at a good time – it represents a chance to get some freshness back in the legs of Town’s threadbare squad in order to shake their Jekyll and Hyde ways.