Match Report

30th January 1999 - Warrington Town 3 - 1 Formby

midfield battle.jpg (7651 bytes)There can be no doubt that anyone present at this match would describe it as anything else than a game of two halves. The first half saw hardly any goalscoring chances, and not really any exciting or quick-moving football at all. In fact, most spectators present were probably more interested in listening to their pocket radios for scores from around the country as both teams battles away relentlessly, each managing to cancel the other out.

Of the very few goalscoring opportunities in the first half, most of them were halted for offside, Damien Whitehead coming close on a couple of occasions but being caught narrowly offside. Formby only really directed one weak header on target throughout the first 45 minutes. However, Town were almost handed a goal on a plate a couple of times when Graham Rummens spooned a couple of clearances straight towards Kevin Tyrell and Damien Whitehead. Corners were not made good use of, and slickness of passing was sadly lacking from the usually well organised Town side. The midfield battle was one of stalemate, neither team making good use of their short spells of possession they had.

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Damien Whitehead comes as close as anyone in the first half

The second half started shakily for Town, the best chance of the game falling to Formby just a few minutes after the restart. The ball was struck across the face of the Town goal from the right hand side, but the Formby striker it was aimed at failed to make any contact at all, with most of the goal gaping open. Town then stepped up a gear, taking the game to the visitors by the scruff of the neck. Powerful runs from deep in the Town half started causing problems, and Town began to gain ground over Formby. It wasn't long before Town were one up. Damien Whitehead picked the ball up on the edge of the box, stepped inside his marker and unleashed a bullet drive which curled into the far side of the goal to the 'keeper's right. The deadlock was broken. Cantilever Park errupted.

About fifteen minutes later, another great run from defence the whole length of the field intimidated the visitors who could only retaliate by resorting to hacking down Town's playmaker. There followed a bit of an argument, in which the ball was booted into the Formby net by Damien Whitehead. It didn't count, obviously, but it got a cheer from the fans behind the goal. Nothing came directly from the free-kickbut minutes later Kevin Tyrell's well-headed goal was disallowed for offside. Town really were turning up the heat now as shot after shot sizzled past the Formby posts, and over the crossbar. However, Town didn't have to wait long for further rewards for their efforts. After a period of extended Town pressure, a hopeful ball was placed dangerously into the Formby penalty area, which was then expertly slid in by one of the Formby defenders, low past his own straggling 'keeper. This was quite funny, and once again the Town fans behind the goal were given an excuse to taunt the goalie.

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Formby ' keeper Graham Rummens turns to see the ball trickle into his own net, well placed by the foot of his team-mate (just visible on the right hand side), whilst Damien Whitehead maintains the pressure at the forefront of the Town attack.

With about ten or fifteen minutes remaining, Damien Whitehead struck again, latching onto a ball from the inside right position before dribbling forwards a few yards and sliding the ball once more into the net low and to the 'keeper's right. Things had certainly picked up, and Town pressure continued, ripping through the Formby side, lapsing only momentarily to allow a bit of a soft goal for Formby. After a bit of a scramble, the ball trickled in past Alan Thomson, who had had a very quiet game. Nothing had happened in the first half to involve him to any degree, and Town had completely dominated the second half, failing to keep the clean sheet by the narrowest of margins.

Alan Hansen says: A greeat Toon perfoarmence aye, an' greet defeandin' throowoot the game. Bu A mean, jus wha' was tha' defeandar thinkin' when he scoored the oon gool? I mean, jes look at tha' will ye? When in doobt, jes launch it. It's quite simple. A jus donnae knoo wha' he was thinkin' theere.