BY hook or by crook, this was a game Warrington Town simply had to win.

How it looked did not really matter – they would have taken a fluent flogging or a ground-out slugfest – as long as they ended up with three points for the first time in over a month.

In the end, it was somewhere in between the two as they went some way to putting their disappointing December firmly in the rear-view mirror.

> Carden rewarded for 'taking a risk' with match-winner Buckley

As long balls rained down upon them late on, anyone thinking the story was about to take a familiar turn could not have been blamed for doing so.

For this has happened so often in the past month – Town taking the lead and looking strong only to not kill their opposition off and leave the back door open – that a Radcliffe equaliser may not have come as much of a surprise.

However, the way in which Yellows saw out this result was testament to their razor-sharp focus and organisation. In truth, Radcliffe barely laid a glove on them, but they weren’t allowed to.

Warrington Guardian:

The celebrations that followed Jordan Buckley's winner. Picture by John Hopkins

Scott Sephton continues to grow in the heart of defence alongside Mark Roberts. The visitors’ increasingly direct approach would have been a big test for him but he passed it with flying colours.

With such an imposing physical frame plus the composure and passing range he has to possess in his usual position of central midfield, all of the ingredients are there to make this switch more of a long-term one.

Further up the field, the attackers bristled with intent from minute one.

Jordan Buckley and Will Harris hounded their opponents throughout, barely giving the Radcliffe defenders a moment’s peace.

Without wishing to disrespect Tony Gray, it is the kind of energy in attack Town have been missing of late.

Jack Banister, too, was impressive on that front and ran himself into the ground. He was unfortunate not to cap his display – by far his best in a Town shirt – with a goal.

Warrington Guardian:

Jack Banister was an impressive performer on Town's left wing. Picture by John Hopkins

Buckley, however, was more fortunate in front of goal and his flicked header for the game’s only goal was predatory.

He had to be substituted on the hour with a hamstring niggle but if he stays fit and confident, Yellows could have a big weapon on their hands for the run-in.

By far the most impressive, though, was Scott Brown.

Unruffled by being outnumbered by Radcliffe’s narrow midfield, the on-loan veteran was class personified.

He has filled the void left by the retired Steve Jennings seamlessly, reading the game superbly and always seeming to find a yellow shirt.

Warrington Guardian:

Scott Brown put in a man-of-the-match display. Picture by John Hopkins

With a six-match winless run now at an end and with the team now back on the right side of the dotted line separating the play-offs from the rest, Paul Carden’s men can now set about making up the ground they have lost on teams above them.

The squad is starting to look healthier and this victory should serve as a massive confidence boost.