THIS is a very new feeling for Warrington Town.

Only once have they been beaten in a more convincing manner in Paul Carden’s three-year reign and their unbeaten league away record is up in smoke.

It is easy to point the finger of blame at Bohan Dixon for his needless red card for a push to the face of Sam Hodgson.

In truth, though, Town were already chasing the game thanks to falling behind after three minutes to a soft Liam Noble goal.

Credit has to go to Morpeth – they saw a chance and they took it in ruthless fashion. They put their foot on Yellows’ throats and did not ease up.

Warrington Guardian:

Bohan Dixon is shown the red card. Picture by John Hopkins

> Sent-off Dixon 'let us down big time,' says Town boss Carden

But should things even have got that far?

Suffice to say the pitch at Craik Park was in a shambolic state, with divots and heavily sanded areas frequent.

Loose under foot, it was as close to a dangerous surface as it was possible to imagine.

No doubt Yellows would have felt massively aggrieved had they been turned back after completing their marathon journey to the north east, but surely the referee should have been brave enough to make the right decision.

The pitch was not fit to host a game of football, but once it got underway it could not be used as an excuse. Town were simply beaten by the better side.

Morpeth knew making the pitch as big as possible would tire the 10 men of Warrington out and they duly spread the ball around patiently.

Town were brave and left Jack Mackreth tucked in alongside Tony Gray, but it allowed Morpeth’s full backs free reign to push as far forward as they pleased.

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Mackreth was pushed up alongside Tony Gray. Picture by John Hopkins

In the second half, though, credit has to go to Yellows for the heart they showed.

Morpeth could have run up a cricket score after the break but Town showed admirable grit and vigour to prevent any further damage.

Dylan Vassallo and Tom Warren – summoned from the bench at half time – provided energy and enthusiasm, with both showing promising touches.

In the circumstances, not much more could have been asked of them.

Warrington Guardian:

Dylan Vassallo was impressive off the bench. Picture by John Hopkins

One does have to wonder, though, how much chasing the ball for 90 minutes on such a heavy pitch will have taken out of a Town squad that is already thin.

Stretched by injuries and now suspensions to both Dixon and Mitch Duggan, who himself will not want to reflect on a moment of stupidity in injury time, it is time to count the bodies.

Both will be available for the Boxing Day derby with Witton, but three-match bans will start on New Year’s Day. Perhaps that is when the brunt of this defeat will be felt.

Morpeth could not have asked for better festive gift but for Yellows, it was the nightmare before Christmas.