A young Warrington Town side, featuring 10 players who have played for the club's youth team this season, travelled to play off chasing Lancaster City, who knew that they had to beat the yellows by at least four goals and hope that results elsewhere went in their favour, if they were to make a play off place.
Manager Shaun Reid
gave starting debuts to youngsters Josh Kavanagh
, Tom Williams and Scott Bakkor, with George Emson
and Rob Winrow
making rare starts for the club, with the bench made up entirely of youth team players.
With this obvious lack of experience, it was the home side who took control of the game immediately, forcing Town keeper Paul Pritchard into two fine saves early on.
It was a mere six minutes before the home side took the lead, with defender Alex Kenyon producing a fine overhead kick to give the home side the lead. Three minutes later, the home side extended their lead, centre back Danny Gregson being given time and space in the penalty area to head home unmarked past Pritchard.
Following this early set back, Warrington started to establish themselves, but it was the home side who should have extended their lead in the 17th minute, when striker Joe Bunney found himself through on goal, only to drag his shot across the face of Pritchard's goal.
The visitors continued to build their way into the game, Liam Shipton seeing his cross smuggled behind before the on rushing captain Rob Hardwick could gather.
Just before half time, the home side extended their lead, but not before Pritchard had produced two more fine saves to deny the home side. Kenyon once again being on hand to slam home a header once again.
On the stroke of half time, youngster Emson almost poked Max Rothwell's cross into his own net, but saw his shot go narrowly past the upright, to save his embarrasment.
The introduction of youngsters Dylan Glass
and James Anderson
at half time, gave Town fresh impetus going forward, and it was Glass, who got on the end of some good Town play just two minutes after coming on, only to force City goalkeeper Martin Fearon to tip his shot over his own bar.
Once again, from the resultant corner, Glass was in the right place to rise unmarked and head home a delicious Owen Roberts corner, to give the Town fans gathered at The Giant Axe some hope of an unlikely come back.
After this boost Warrington produced their best spell of the game, seeing more of the ball and going forward well, but were not able to further unlock the home defence.
Just after the hour, Reid introduced yet another debutant, with youngster James Daniels replacing full back Owen Roberts.
Lancaster went close soon after, somehow managing to miss despite a goalmouth scramble, which saw Pritchard save and an effort come back off the upright.
With just under 20 minutes left, Town went close once again, midfielder Gerard Kinsella producing a mazy run, but shot weakly at Fearon.
Two minutes later, any hope that Town had of a comeback were extinguished, when winger Zac Clark produced a fine run and finish to beat Pritchard and extend their lead. Just over 10 minutes from the end of the game, City gained the four goal lead that could have seen them into the play offs, when Town midfielder Michael Reid miscued and slotted home into his own net during a goalmouth scramble.
The home side were comfortable to play out the rest of the game, with this lead, only to find out after the final whistle that their efforts had not been enough, and they had failed to make the play offs
Warrington Town Team:
Paul Pritchard, Josh Kavanagh
, Owen Roberts ( James Daniels , 63 ), George Emson
, Rob Winrow
, Michael Reid, Gerard Kinsella, Tom Williams ( Dylan Glass
, 46 ), Rob Hardwick (C), Scott Bakkor ( James Anderson
, 46 ), Liam Shipton
Warrington Town Subs Not Used:
, Tony Vaughan