A Step Too Far
Town surprisingly played this game with just a single substitute named on the bench which ultimately contributed to their downfall as they "ran out of legs" in extra time.
It was a generally low key match with the best of the action coming in extra time. Whilst Town put in the effort the guile necessary to unlock a resolute Newcastle defence was simply missing.
Warrington had the best of the chances in the opening half hour. Henders was the first to create an opening but his shot was anything but troublesome for Dave Parton in the homester’s goal.
Then Tom Hardwick flashed a shot narrowly wide following a corner. Next to make a half chance was Chris Thompson, turning quickly on a ball down the centre only to see his shot skid off the top of the bar.
A great ball from Chris Gahgan put Thompson through but a lack of speed allowed the defence to prevent a strike. A point of debate arose when Parton brought down Jamie Henders on the edge of the box when he was the last man. The fact he had played the ball away from goal must have saved Parton from dismissal and the colour was only yellow.
The resultant free kick hit the wall at ankle height allowing Newcastle to break but they could only gain a corner after the shot was deflected. From the corner Adam Bayley met a header with some force but it went high. Town ended the half marginally in the ascendency as Gahgan a shot was tipped over before the final chance fell to Newcastle’s Anthony Malbon but he also shot over.
If the first half had been low key, the second half was no key. The first chance of any note fell to Louis Corrigan but went wide. Jamie Henders had a long range free kick tipped over with the resultant corner being scrambled to Corrigan but again the shot went high. It was the closest either side had come to a breakthrough.
Newcastle managed to head over when well placed and Henders hit another thirty five yard free kick over the bar but that was pretty much it.
Newcastle’s substitutions had been made regularly though and the fresh legs were what appeared to make the difference.
Extra time began and Newcastle worked the ball left and fired a low cross in that was flicked on by Malbon which went in off Tom Hardwick. Chris Gahgan made a neat turn only to see his shot deflected wide but by now the writing was on the wall as Town tired and Newcastle grew in confidence.
Again Malbon fired just wide before a slick move with Town’s defence acting as mere spectators saw the ball crossed low to Andy Nichols whose low drive struck the post and bounced diagonally back across the penalty area before being cleared.
The second period saw Town strive for some reward but still lack the ability to finish off. Jamie Henders wasted a chance when blasting way over the bar before Liam Shipton produced a similar end result.
Town collected a solitary booking with Nick Jackson seeing his name taken but shortly after this the game was over as contest when a scramble in the box broke to Dave Whittaker who drove low to the bottom corner.
After the game Warrington manager Joey Dunn said he couldn't fault his team for effort but the side had "just run out of legs."
Players were missing either due to suspension, injury or work commitments.