Moment of the Match

9th January 1999 - Warrington Town 0 - 2 Thame United (after extra time)

action.jpg (14290 bytes)Another massive attendance at Cantilever Park turned out to witness this, the most important game of the season so far for Town. The atmosphere was high-spirited to say the least, with Town coming off the back of five consecutive league wins. Thame United, however, were also well supported, the travelling fans including a drummer and also an aerosol hooter duet.

Town won't forget this one in a hurry. Playing in a menacing red, (Dave Hughes is a Liverpool fan), the pace was set in the first few minutes of the game, with tackles flying in, roars from the crowd and a high speed passing game left supporters wondering how it could continue at such a high pace. However, the football did not disappoint. Both teams had good chances midway through the first half but neither made headway. The best chances of the first half came about five minutes before half time when the teams exchanged shooting chances, both of which cleared the respective crossbar.

In the first minute of the second half, Town's best chance of the game so far came from a flick by Damien Whitehead, just before the ball was volleyed inches over. This set the mood for the second half, which soon turned into a battle of desperate defending and exciting attacks. A long range shot from Thame rattled Thomson's cross bar and their threatening left-winger missed a glorious one-on-one chance to seal the victory close to the end. A long ball aimed at another run from the same winger left Town's defence stretched, one of whom was lucky not to have been shown at least a yellow card for handball at a almost-too-decisive moment. Good runs from Paul Berry troubled the Thame defence and a long range shot from the Town midfield flew narrowly over. But the offside trap was employed well by the visitors and Damien Whitehead's frustrating afternoon epitomised the Town's feelings of the game when the referee blew for 90 minutes.

burst ball.jpg (7935 bytes)Extra time beckoned, unbeknown to a number of supporters, who began to leave the ground. However, they soon returned and the first period took over where the second half left, off. Town were unlucky not to go in front, as were Thame United. The breakthrough came thirty seconds into the second period of extra time when Thomson was beaten by a powerful drive, low to his left. An unlucky handball in the box to give a penalty to the leading side didn't help matters as it was duly converted. The noise from the Town fans in the Bridge End stand was deafening - it's a wonder the stand remained upright despite the pounding it was taking to make some noise to stir up the Town team. The advertising boards were taking the same sort of stick, but all to no avail, as the ref blew full time just a few moments later.

Town were unlucky to bow out of the competition at this stage, and have shown themselves to be a force to be reckoned with by reaching the last 32. Anyone at the game will agree that the scoreline did not reflect the pattern of play, both teams being equally matched.

Alan Hansen says: Aye, thi' were undooutably unluacky theere. Some soolid defeandin in first haf shoowed proomise, but it turned a beet deesprat for the reest o' the game. Well done, hangin' ontae the end o' the ninety minutes, boo I meen you've gottae keeep it oop.