MARK Beesley praised the commitment and organisation of his Warrington Town players after they fought back to draw with South Shields in the face of significant adversity.

In truly unprecedented scenes at Cantilever Park, Town found themselves down to 10 men after just eight seconds as Andy White was dismissed for pulling down John Lufudu in the area, with Robert Briggs converting the subsequent penalty.

After another penalty was awarded against them shortly afterwards, Paul Blackett converted the rebound after Dan Atherton had saved Briggs’ effort to put Yellows in a grave situation.

However, Isaac Buckley-Ricketts’ goal before the break kept the 10-man hosts alive before Mitch Duggan nodded in a second-half leveller.

> Town 2 South Shields 2 - full verdict on a dramatic afternoon

Warrington Guardian: Mitch Duggan runs away to celebrate after equalisingMitch Duggan runs away to celebrate after equalising (Image: Sean Walsh)

While he had few complaints with the award of the first-minute penalty and White’s dismissal, Beesley was more critical of referee Gareth Thomas’ decision to penalise Dec Walker for handball for the Mariners’ second spot kick.

Despite that, though, he heaped praise upon his side for showing the resolve to fight back and extend their unbeaten run to three league matches.

“We’ve broken some records since I took over and I think that’s another one,” he said.

“It was poor from our point of view – we weren’t switched on from the kick off, but I think it’s a tad harsh.

“Whitey is probably better just kicking their lad and then he probably gets a yellow – it’s a 50-50 one for me but we’d probably want it if it was at the other end.

“These are a good team of full-time footballers and you can see why they’re up around the top of the league.

“The second penalty I think is unbelievably harsh but the ref is too busy telling me it’s the letter of the law.

“We got back in the game and it gave us a bit of a lift but our shape from 60 seconds onwards was magnificent and you could see the things we’ve worked on.

“We made it hard for them but when they did get in on a few occasions in the second half, Dan (Atherton) was there to save us.

“Then again, on another day we score in the 95th minute to win it.”

Warrington Guardian: Andy White was sent off after just eight seconds for pulling down South Shields' John Lufudu in the penalty areaAndy White was sent off after just eight seconds for pulling down South Shields' John Lufudu in the penalty area (Image: Sean Walsh)

The last-gasp opportunity Town had to snatch what would have been a memorable win Beesley refers to saw substitute Josh Amis, who had a significant impact in his first league appearance of the season, denied by a superb save from visiting goalkeeper Myles Boney.

That came after the equaliser had arrived via the unlikely source of Duggan, who headed home Sean Williams’ corner to score just his fifth goal in nearly 200 appearances for the club.

“He's very good in the air and he should probably score more goals,” Beesley said.

“Mitch has been here for a very long time and people need to appreciate how good he is.

“He gives everything for the club – when we need to change things around and move positions, he puts his hand up. Those types of people are what you need.

“We spoke about the first 15 minutes after half time being vital and keeping our shape. We were exactly where we wanted to be – we were only one goal behind.

“We wanted to frustrate them and make them get bored and I think we did that.

“We got Josh on the pitch and when he came on, he got us up the pitch.

“He came on and made a difference – he showed exactly what we’ve been missing.

“Then we score and we probably panicked a little bit and dropped a bit deeper than what we had been, which put us under a bit of pressure.”

Town were forced onto the back foot after equalising as the visitors, who had naturally monopolised possession throughout the match, probed for a winning goal to get them out of jail.

However, led by central defensive duo Peter Clarke and Andre Wisdom as well as some good saves from Atherton, Town repelled everything that was thrown their way

“Clarkey was outstanding – he’s a leader but you don’t play as many Football League games as he has without being,” Beesley said.

“Since he’s come in, he’s been nothing but a success for us and he’s what we needed at this level.

“Andre’s come in and it’s been very different for him today, but he defended really well when he needed to.”

Warrington Guardian: Veteran centre-back Peter Clarke makes another clearance under pressure from South Shields' Paul BlackettVeteran centre-back Peter Clarke makes another clearance under pressure from South Shields' Paul Blackett (Image: Sean Walsh)