9th March 1999 - Warrington Town 2 - 2 Ashton Town
A poor attendance turned out at Cantilever Park on this dark, cold and damp Tuesday evening to witness a scrappy display of football from the usually oh-so-good Town.
Town looked to be dominated conclusively in the first two minutes as they won a spree of corners. It looked as though it might be a rout again - the last time the teams met Town won 5-0. Nothing became of them, however. After a few minutes of scrappy football, the deadlock was broken, but it was not Town who went ahead, it was Ashton Town. Winning a corner, they pressed players forward. Slack defending was the only explanation for when the ball was headed low past Paul Knights in the Town goal. Town just didn't seem to pick it up. They normally fight back, snapping at the heels of the opposition, but for some reason they dropped off the challenges and allowed Ashton to continue their attacks. The motivation just didn't seem to be there. Ashton's set pieces were looking threatening and they should have easily gone two up when the ball was skewed wide of the post from about two yards out, the keeper down. Town threatened the Ashton goal only slightly in the first half, the closest chance coming off a good strong header direct from a corner. But still Town were failing to stem the Ashton attacks as they came close again - this time with a shot deflected just wide.
The second half started as the first half ended, with few passes reaching their targets. Town began to find their feet, however, and after the first decent passing move of the game Damien Whitehead shot low and inches past the far post having beaten the keeper. Good chances began to come Town's way as Damo sent a header just past the post after a good display of strength and a fine cross from Paul Anderton. Ando was having a good game, and set up Paul Berry who powered in a low shot which unfortunately whistled past the post. A few dodgy decisions from the referee and his assistants began to irritate the crowd but they were not to be disappointed for long. After a bit of a scramble on the edge of the box, the ball bounced kindly in the sand for Kevin Tyrell who laid it off unselfishly to Damo. He rounded the 'keeper and slotted home calmly. 1-1.
The keeper wipes his gloves and looks a bit down after Damo's equaliser.
Town then began to finally get their act together and pressurised the Ashton goal fairly persistently. A free kick was won wide on the right which was whipped in onto the head of Karlheinz Tyrell. The bullet diving header flew inches wide of the top corner of the near post. Ashton weren't giving up, however, and had an effort cleared off the line after a corner just a few minutes before Neil Alden replaced Paul Anderton. Then Ashton went ahead with two minutes to go. The Town defence were caught napping and a good ball from midfield released theri striker who scored. The fans were chessed off. The manager was cheesed off, but Kevin Tyrell took out his frustration by showing great strength on the edge of the box before powering the ball low and hard beneath the Ashton 'keeper.
Both teams feel dejected as they walk back to the changing rooms.
|Alan Hansen says: Aye weel. Jus look a tha defeendin'. I mean I've saaid i befoore an al sae it again bu yer wouldna see tha in poob fooball. Aye Daamo's on fire bu' yer've gottae keep the gools oot at the baak as well as duufin em in up front like.|
TIGHTEN UP TOWN!
Warrington 2 Ashton Town 2
WARRINGTON Town's defence will have to stiffen up its act if they are to reach the final of the North Western Trains League Second Division Trophy. Tomorrow, Saturday, they travel to Curzon Ashton to defend a 3-2 lead from the first leg of the semi-final but the side's tendency to concede sloppy goals is a big concern to manager Dave Hughes. And particularly so while he is struggling in the goalkeeping department.
Regular netminder Alan Thompson is suspended, No.2 Paul Knights has a
previously arranged family commitment, new signing Neil Weaver is ineligible and the
reserve team goalkeeper is injured - but he remains Town's only hope! Hughes says:
"The positive thing at the moment is that we are not giving up after giving daft
goals away and I certainly feel confident that we can score at Curzon."
Twice Town fell behind to counter-attack goals on Tuesday to the side placed third from bottom in the table but pulled back each time through their lethal frontline partnership of Damien Whitehead and Kevin Tyrell. Ashton went ahead after 10 minutes when Neil Thatcher nipped in unmarked at the far post to nod the ball home. And the Ashton striker could have had three more before the break. The nearest Town came to scoring in the first half was through headers from corners by central defenders Elfyn Edwards and Ian Hughes but both were wide of the mark.
It was all Town after the break but chance after chance was missed until the 65th minute. Tyrell threaded a ball into the danger area for Whitehead to collect, round the goalkeeper and slot it under the despairing lunge of central defender Gareth Morris. It was his 30th goal of the season. Town pushed forward to find the winner but fell for the sucker punch. Ashton broke away and Steven Ellaby rolled the ball to the side of Knights for winger Lee Cunliffe to thump home with six minutes remaining.
One minute from time Tyrrell rescued Town when he controlled a pass well before smashing the ball between the goalkeeper's legs from 18 yards.