WARRINGTON Town were pegged back to a draw on their return to home soil this afternoon.

Visitors Brackley Town were able to leave with a point after Connor Hall’s equaliser in the early stages of the second half, with the forward weaving through and clipping beyond Dan Atherton.

That came after Yellows had fought back from behind to lead at the break, with Zak Lilly’s stunning long-range volley opening the scoring for the Saints.

However, Town trailed for just seven minutes as Isaac Buckley-Ricketts prodded home a near-post finish before turning provider for Matty McDonald to prod Mark Beesley’s men in front.

> Read Town boss Mark Beesley's post-match reaction here

Warrington Guardian: Matty McDonald celebrates putting Town ahead against BrackleyMatty McDonald celebrates putting Town ahead against Brackley (Image: Sean Walsh)

Read Matt Turner's verdict on the game below

WAS this an opportunity missed for Warrington Town? Or an illustration of their progress?

Perhaps it can go down as both as they did battle with an established top-end competitor at this level in Brackley Town.

Last season’s beaten play-off finalists in the National League North beat Yellows comfortably in September’s reverse fixture without really getting beyond third gear but on this occasion, they could perhaps feel fortunate to escape with a point.

Warrington Guardian: Isaac Buckley-Ricketts tussles with Brackley's Alex GudgerIsaac Buckley-Ricketts tussles with Brackley's Alex Gudger (Image: Sean Walsh)

While it is true that, as time went on, they took over the ascendancy and were controlling the tempo, but they were not translating that into chances created.

Indeed, they only had three shots on target with two of them resulting in goals.

By contrast, Town can consider themselves unfortunate having struck the woodwork twice and generally looked the more threatening side.

Misfortune was probably a theme for the hosts – the goal Zak Lilly scored to put the hosts ahead came against the run of play and was the kind of 30-yard volley that ends up out of the ground nine times out of 10. On this occasion, though, it ended up in Dan Atherton’s top corner.

Then, barely a minute after Jay Harris had struck the post, Connor Woods was unfortunate to prod an attempted pass on the stretch straight to Connor Hall, who did well to bare down on goal and clip in the equaliser.

That goal appeared to knock the wind out of Town’s sails as before then, they bristled with energy as they attacked Brackley’s three-man defence.

With Matty McDonald restored to the starting line-up, they were back to their lively selves going forward and when he netted for the third time in six games to put his side ahead, it was a deserved advantage after Isaac Buckley-Ricketts had snuck in a leveller off the post.

Warrington Guardian: Isaac Buckley-Ricketts celebrates after netting the equaliserIsaac Buckley-Ricketts celebrates after netting the equaliser (Image: Sean Walsh)

Even though they created the best late chance as Josh Amis lobbed over the bar in injury time, they had started to flag in the game’s final quarter.

Had slogging it out on a heavy pitch at Curzon Ashton last weekend and the long trip to Spennymoor on Tuesday caught up with them? Only they will know, but there was a distinct drop in energy levels.

With a free midweek coming up, it is important they use the time to restock their energy reserves for a busy fortnight.

Warrington Town: Atherton, White, Hannigan, Harris, Woods (Pasiek), Williams, McDonald (Amis), Buckley-Ricketts, Wisdom, Grivosti (Amis), Clarke. Subs not used: Gumbs, Gill

Warrington Guardian: Sean Williams attempts to win the ball from Brackley's Alfie BatesSean Williams attempts to win the ball from Brackley's Alfie Bates (Image: Sean Walsh)

Warrington Guardian: Connor Woods looks to take on Riccardo CalderConnor Woods looks to take on Riccardo Calder (Image: Sean Walsh)