Moment of the Match with Match Report
19th December 1998 - Warrington Town 3 - 1 Nelson
One of the best games seen at Cantilever Park in recent history, Town confirmed to their growing support that they are well and truly undergoing a revival at the moment.
It didn't seem like it in the first half, though. Town were looking in reasonable form but their defence was asleep when after 30 minutes the first real attack from Nelson was allowed to go unchecked until they simply passed to a player in space and then shot into the goal.
A dismal Cantilever Park crowd trudged to the pie shop and there was much talk of Town going back to their old ways, being soft in defence and poor in attack.
Whatever manager Dave Hughes said at half time did the trick. Town came out with the same players but the way they played was completely different. It took the home side time to make their superior skill count, tap-ins were going begging or getting forced over the bar, at one point the Nelson goalkeeper pulled off an incredible double save using both his hands and then his head to keep out efforts by Damien Whitehead.
The breakthrough came with about twenty minutes remaining, Town's massively improved passing from midfield allowed Whitehead out wide on the right to take one touch and look up to see Kevin Tyrell free in the box, and instinctively place a long ball perfectly for the big man....
who promptly stooped for a diving header by the penalty spot which arched through the arms of the flailing Nelson keeper into the net before the jubilant Yellows fans.
There was more to come, another midfield pass found Tyrell clear on goal with ten minutes remaining and he chipped the keeper beautifully to put Town in front.
The climax of the Town fans' celebrations was just before the end of the match, when a fracas occurred near the dugout. The view from behind Nelson's goal made it seem as if a Town player who had fallen to the ground was stamped on by two Nelson players, the other players on both sides quickly ran over and joined in the fun. Amidst chants of "get him off" the ref gave a drop-ball immediately after which Damien Whitehead tackled the Nelson right-back and launched a dangerous cross which was scintillatingly put away by one of the Nelson centre-backs, an acrobatic sidefooted volley over his own keeper.
|Alan Hansen says: Och, I cannae beleeve it. A mean, tha' were the first match a'
Canteeleeever Park tha' 'aive been tae in a wee while, an' tae bergin wi' I thought Town
were awful. Jes' loook a' that markin'!
Bu' all creydit tae the Town lads, in the second half they were farntastic, jes' unstoapable.
TOWN secured their first league double of the season with three goals in an eight minute blitz on Saturday.
But it took 70 minutes of their match with Nelson for the home side to finally recover from their epic midweek Liverpool Senior Cup battle against Marine.
Nelson could have had the three points sown up by half-time but for some terrible finishing and their frustration at letting this game slip briefly threatened to boil over in the dying stages.
Town looked a long way from the side who had conceded only two goals in their previous six home games in the first 45 minutes as Nelson repeatedly breached their defence.
John Irving twice fired wide when he only had Town 'keeper Alan Thompson to beat and John Bailey headed over despite being unmarked at a corner before Nelson hit the target after 36 minutes.
The marking was once again absent as Chris Halsted was given the space on the edge of the box to turn and drill a low shot past Thompson after 36 minutes.
Warrington took until two minutes before the break to create their first real chance of the game when Kevin Tyrell broke on the left to feed Damien Whitehead only for a Nelson defender to get his body in the way of the teenage striker's shot.
Town continued to labour until a moment of magic turned the game on its head after 77 minutes.
Terry Nestor's long pass found Whitehead out on the right and he turned the ball back inside where Tyrell was waiting to head powerfully past the 'keeper.
Four minutes later and Tyrell was on target again when he broke on the right, drew the 'keeper and then lobbed the ball over him into the corner of the net to put Town in the lead.
Nelson defender Jon Naylor decided to take his frustrations out on Tyrell by kicking him repeatedly on the ground when they were both scrambling for the ball.
Incredibly, the referee failed to even book Naylor but Town came up with the perfect reposte when substitute Neil Holden followed Tyrell's example and lobbed past the 'keeper for goal number three after 85 minutes.
Town: Alan Thompson, Ian Bold, Steve Cartledge, Chris Hunt, Ian Hughes, Terry Nestor, Paul Berry, Andy Tague, Kevin Tyrell, Damien Whitehead, James Ward. Sub: Neil Holden.