WARRINGTON Town were eventually made to pay for two first-half red cards against Hereford on Tuesday evening.

Despite a heroic second-half effort with just nine men to keep the Bulls out, their resolve was eventually broken by substitute Ethan Freemantle as the game entered the final quarter.

With the game goalless, Connor Woods was shown a straight red card for a headbutt on Tom Pugh and two minutes later, a Dan Atherton error presented Jason Cowley with the opener for the hosts.

Bohan Dixon was then dismissed shortly afterwards for a second booking but even so, Town found an unlikely leveller on the stroke of half time as Sean Williams converted a penalty after Josh Amis was felled in the box.

They even had a glorious opportunity to snatch the unlikeliest of points late on, but Isaac Buckley-Ricketts prodded wide with the goal gaping as the game entered injury time.

Read Matt Turner's verdict on the game below

ON his 43rd birthday, Mark Beesley will have been hoping for a rather different type of card.

Unfortunately, he could only watch his Warrington Town side slip to a gallant but ultimately inevitable defeat.

In the end, he and his players will be forced to reflect on two moments of first-half madness that came within a couple of minutes of each other that ultimately put them on the back foot and in a position from which, try as they might, they could not recover.

Dan Atherton’s decision to go walk-about with the ball in his own box to present Jason Cowley with an early Christmas gift was inexplicable in its timing as much as anything else, barely two minutes after Connor Woods had literally and figuratively seen red.

While the goalkeeper redeemed himself largely by some of the outstanding saves he made to keep his side in the game, Woods unfortunately will know he has let himself and his teammates down.

Labelling his reaction to being dragged back by Tom Pugh a headbutt would be harsh, but moving his head in Pugh’s direction under the nose of referee Liam Corbett was senseless from a player who has done so much good in a Town shirt.

And when Bohan Dixon followed him down the tunnel for an ill-advised challenge having already been booked, all looked completely lost.

And yet, it wasn’t. Once again, this squad that their resolve cannot be questioned.

Sean Williams drilling home a penalty his charge upfield helped to win gave them something to hold onto, and they did so admirably to the point where their hosts were becoming increasingly frustrated.

They chased, they blocked, they headed and inched closer to the unlikeliest of points, until a momentary lapse in focus allowed Ethan Freemantle to poke him the winner and break their resolve.

It cannot be argued that a goal was coming, but the fact it came with the home stretch in sight is even more of a killer.

And still they could – and perhaps should – have had an equaliser in injury time, but Isaac Buckley-Ricketts contrived to miss from within the goalmouth having been found unmarked.

The fact they played the majority of the match with nine men and could still feel they should have left Edgar Street with something is testament to their fight, and only brings about the frustrating question about how the game would have gone if they had a full compliment of players on the pitch.

Before Woods’ dismissal, Town had started well – they looked comfortable and were finding openings in the home defence, but ultimately while they can take plenty from their performance as they could at Scunthorpe last time out, they do not take any points.

And what will frustrate Beesley the most is that the damage was caused in completely avoidable fashion.

Warrington Town: Atherton, Walker, White, Hannigan, Woods, Williams, Amis (Grivosti), Popoola (Harris), Dixon, Buckley-Ricketts, Wisdom. Subs not used: Goudie, Gill, Bennett