PAUL Carden labelled some of his Warrington Town side’s defending in their opening-day defeat to Morpeth Town as “atrocious” and “shocking.”

Yellows – who had the Northern Premier Division’s best defensive record last season – opened the new campaign with a 3-1 defeat to their newly-promoted visitors at Cantilever Park.

> VERDICT: Uncharacteristically off-colour from Yellows but Morpeth deserve great credit

> The story of Town's opening-day loss

Town had long spells of pressure, particularly after Mark Roberts had reduced the arrears to 2-1, but failed to break down a stubborn Morpeth rearguard.

However, it was matters at the other end that concerned Carden most.

“We’d lose the ball cheaply, give a foul away and let them off. It was a sequence,” he said.

“They did what an organised side do and killed the game. They took the sting out of it and credit to them.

“The first goal was that same sequence – we lost the ball in midfield and gave a foul away.

“The lad hits a worldie and to be fair, you won’t see a better goal this season.

“We’ve gone in behind having been the better team without really playing well.

“We came out in the second half and the second goal was really poor from us.

“What we were doing on the halfway line was absolutely atrocious and shocking defending.

“We’ve allowed a big centre-forward who’s not the most mobile to travel with the ball, pick his head up and cross the ball to a winger who was defending our original throw-in.

“I’ve never known so many out of an 11 be so poor. I don’t think Tony McMillan has had loads to do.

“Robbo (Mark Roberts) was probably the only one who was anywhere near what he is.”

Yellows started well and arguably shaded the first half before falling behind to Sean Reid’s wonder strike on the stroke of half time.

Jack Foalle doubled Morpeth’s lead just after the interval and despite waves of Town pressure that followed, their defence remained stubborn.

“They’ve done a job on us but without taking anything away from them, we’ve gifted them two goals,” Carden said.

“I thought we started quite well. We were on the front foot.

“We got ourselves back into the game with a decent goal from a set-piece, which we looked a threat from, but they score a goal that sums us up.

“We didn’t do the basics and let a man go from a corner.

“There’s times where the game doesn’t go for you with the ball, but there’s things you can do that you don’t have to play well to do.

“It’s thinks like tracking men, stopping crosses and marking your designated men.

“If you go away from doing them and don’t have a particularly good game on the ball, you’ve got no chance.”

Carden confirmed winger Dylan Vassallo has gone for an x-ray on his ankle after being forced off during the first half.