ANOTHER draw for Warrington Town – and another familiar story.

Once again, they found themselves having to break down an opponent that sat in front of them and invited them on.

They did so as Tony Gray levelled the match six minutes from time to seal a 1-1 draw at Ashton United, who had taken the lead through Louis Almond before half time.

Perhaps that is something to take solace from – earlier this season, this is a game they may have lost – but while they remain the team with the fewest defeats in the BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division with five, they now have more draws (13) than wins (12).

Warrington Guardian:

Frustration for Town as another chance goes begging. Picture by John Hopkins

“I thought we were okay at times in the first half, but the front two let us down,” manager Paul Carden said.

“There was no hold-up play, no connection between them.

“We changed it at half time and in the second half, there was only one team looking like winning it and looking like wanting to win it.

“We got the equaliser but we could have scored one or two before the equaliser.

“That was as good a second-half performance as we’ve had in a while. We need to build on it and keep going.”

Warrington Guardian:

Fisayo Adarabioyo started for the first time but was replaced at half time. Picture by John Hopkins

Early on, it looked like Town were suffering from a hangover from being pegged back so agonisingly by FC United of Manchester on Saturday.

It takes a lot to bounce back from conceding a 96th-minute equaliser, and Ashton took advantage of some heavy legs.

They looked the more energetic, always seemed to find the extra man in midfield and on 18 minutes, deservedly took the lead.

Almond had already had an effort cleared off the line when he burst beyond the Yellows defence to slot home – but there was a big bone of contention.

“Their goal is miles offside,” Carden insisted.

“I’ve said it before – we’ve got to be better than the officials because its clear they’re not at the standard they should be at.

“For their goal, the linesman was about five yards behind the play. Louis Almond takes the ball and he’s still the wrong side of Mitch.

“You don’t get them because they don’t see it, because they don’t look for it.

“They just follow the ball and that’s the unfortunate thing.”

Town never really looked like responding before the break, with Bobby Jones forced into two good saves to stop Ashton from going further ahead.

Warrington Guardian:

Bobby Jones makes a good save in the Town goal. Picture by John Hopkins

At half time though, on came Gray and a change of shape worked wonders.

The ball was being moved better despite the atrocious condition of the Hurst Cross pitch, with Robins stopper Greg Hartley forced into several good saves.

At times, the final ball let Yellows down. At times, it was pure dumb luck with Ashton throwing bodies in the way. It looked as if it was not going to be their day.

But as the old saying goes, if you aren’t going to win a game, make sure you don’t lose it.

Gray was already guilty of missing a glorious chance when volleying over from barely six yards out, but he made no mistake when sweeping home Tom Warren’s low cross.

Warrington Guardian:

Tony Gray celebrates the equaliser. Picture by John Hopkins

“On a cowfield of a pitch, we’ve passed the ball around quite well,” Carden said.

“If you go in the corners of the pitch, the lads were sinking up to their ankles down into the grass. I won’t have a go at anyone for final balls for that reason.

“I have in the past on better pitches, but we were planting our foot and it was a lottery.

“We kept going, kept trying to work the ball into good areas.

“They worked it well with the subs – they broke it up, made fouls and tried to interrupt us – but once we got over that, we started playing again.”

Warrington Guardian:

Bohan Dixon was an impressive performer in midfield for Town. Picture by John Hopkins

Match facts:

BetVictor Northern Premier League Premier Division

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Ashton United…1 Warrington Town…1

Ashton United: Hartley, Bembo-Leta, Pritchard, Sass-Davies, Hunt, Sheridan (Wilson), Rowney, Brewster, Almond (Macadam), Hardcastle, Anghel (Tames). Subs not used: Havern, Tserpes

Goalscorers: Almond (18)

Bookings: Brewster, Tames

Warrington Town: Jones, A Carden, Warren, Dixon, Roberts, Duggan, Mackreth, Brown (Marriott), Amis, Adarabioyo (Gray), Vassallo (Dunn). Subs not used: Buckley, Sephton

Goalscorers: Gray (84)

Bookings: Duggan, Gray, Brown

Half time: 1-0

Attendance: 202