Strong Wire Make A Point
Warrington Town travelled to league leaders AFC Fylde, looking to maintain their unbeaten start to 2012, making two changes from the previous Saturdays 4-2 win against Salford.
Dale Wright and Rob Hardwick replaced the injured duo of Allan Collins and Chris Thompson. The home side, who had won eight games in a row before kick off, immediately put pressure on the Town rearguard, with Warrington goalkeeper Paul Pritchard being forced to palm away a dangerous in swinging corner early on, under pressure from the Fylde attack.
The home side should have took the lead in the 12th minute, when striker Mike Barnes robbed River Humphreys and bore down on goal, but, inexplicably, shot wide with only Pritchard to beat. Despite the vast home pressure, Town did create some chances, Rob Hardwick charging down former Wire keeper Zac Jones' clearance only to be forced wide and was unable to get a meaningful shot on target.
Half way through the first half, Fylde had another good chance to take the lead, full back Jim Heywood heading wide when well placed and unmarked in the penalty area.
The Coasters continued to pile the pressure onto the Town rearguard with Bradley Barnes shooting wide from the edge of the box. Town, having weathered the storm, went close twice before half time, Lee Madin shooting wide from the edge of the box, before Nick Jackson got on the end of a good team move, only to see his shot go narrowly the wrong side of the upright.
Right on the stroke of half time, the home side could have taken the lead once again, but midfielder Phil Doughty shot over when well placed.
The second half saw the game take much the same pattern, with the home side generally in control of the game, however, Town were controversially denied a penalty in the 49th minute, when Jackson was clearly upended in the penalty area, only for the referee Mr Kettlewell to book the midfielder for diving.
AFC Fylde continued to attck, but could not create a chance on Pritchard's goal due to the fantastic defending from the ten men in front of him. Dale Wright went close half way through the half, seeing his looping header, saved under his crossbar by Jones.
As the game wore on, the home side continued to press forward looking for a winner but could not find a way through the Town rearguard, excellent marshalled by captain Tom Hardwick. With two minutes left in the game, Jackson was to be shown a second yellow card and sent off, for a nothing looking challenge in midfield. Despite this and the five minutes extra time played by the referee, Town hung on for an excellent and hard earned point.
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