MARK Beesley praised the character of his Warrington Town side after they fought back to claim a point at newly-crowned champions Tamworth on Saturday.

In front of nearly 3,000 fans at the Lamb Ground, the hosts only needed a point from the game to seal the National League North title but looked set to crown the occasion with a win when Dec Walker deflected Nathan Tshikuna’s shot past his own goalkeeper.

However, Dubem Eze struck after the break to earn a 1-1 draw against a side that lifted the league trophy after the full-time whistle.

Beesley was keen to pay tribute to the hosts’ achievement but, after struggling in the first half, he declared himself pleased with how his players responded.

“First and foremost, we have to congratulate Tamworth,” he said.

“They’ve had an excellent year and have deservedly won the league.

“The old adage is right in that the best team wins the league, and they have been the best team so congratulations to them.

“From our point of view, at the moment we’ve got niggly injuries and people with sickness but we wanted to make sure we had a real go.

“The first half was really tough – the wind was in our face and with the way they play, it pins you back and at times, we were finding it tough to get out.

“We came out in the second half with two fresh faces and tried to get the ball down.

“We scored a good goal by doing that – it’s something we’ve done all season so I’ve got to praise the lads for the second half.

“We had a lot of young lads involved but the experienced guys were excellent and led them throughout the game.”

Eze’s goal was the second of his loan spell from Norwich City as he steered an excellent finish past Lambs stopper Jas Singh having been found in the box by Matty McDonald.

Beesley insists the 19-year-old still has plenty to learn as he gets to grips with the senior game but is delighted with his progress since he arrived at Cantilever Park.

“First and foremost, he’s a lovely kid. He’s got a great personality and I’m sure he’ll do well in football,” the Town boss said of Eze.

“He’s come in, scored a couple of goals and has been positive in the game’s he’s played in.

“It’s a learning curve for him because he hasn’t really played men’s football – we knew that but it was a chance for us to take him in and see the qualities he has.

“You can see he’s got a lot to learn in the men’s game, which is fine and he’s an intelligent lad so he’ll learn that very quickly. He’s done really well for us.”

Town did not come through the game unscathed, with Walker and Connor Woods both replaced just before half-time having picked up injuries.

Woods’ issue was caused by a tackle from Tamworth’s Ben Acquaye which Beesley labelled as “probably the worst I’ve seen all season.”

Acquaye was booked and while the Yellows manager was keen to stress he held no ill feeling towards the Lambs man, he was critical of the official’s handling of the incident.

“Connor is very, very lucky he’s not in a cast,” he said.

“He got a horrendous tackle – probably the worst tackle I’ve seen all season – and the referee is 10 yards away.

“To be fair to the lad, he’s not malicious – it’s one of those where he’s gone over the ball and has nearly broken Connor’s leg.

“He couldn’t apologise enough so we’re not having a go at him – these things happen in football – but I’m disappointed with the officials because the referee is looking right at it.

“We just hope Connor isn’t too bad because he’s been excellent for us all season and wants to finish it off well.”