8th May 1999
Maghull 2 - 1 Warrington Town
This is the Warrington Guardian's report on the match:
TOWN BOTTLED IT
WHAT was expected to be a glorious afternoon to savour instead turned out
to be one of despair for Warrington Town. They squandered the chance of promotion back
into the North Western Trains League first division, following their expulsion last year,
after a shock defeat at lowly Maghull.
It allowed Abbey Hey, triumphant at Darwen, to snatch second place. Whether it was due to a bout of nerves on a big match occasion, which would not be the first time this has happened to them this season, or their habit of playing badly against struggling outfits, Warrington's form took a dramatic nose dive. Their usual fluent and incisive mode of play was very much absent at Maghull and they looked a pale shadow of the team which had previously put together an outstanding 15 game unbeaten league run. Town's star striker Damien Whitehead, surprisingly given permission by the club to turn out for Tranmere Rovers Reserves less than 48 hours before this highly significant game for them, looked sluggish.
Perhaps distracted by recent events at Macclesfield and Prenton Park, where he has had trials, Whitehead showed, along with a number of colleagues, little appetite for the Old Hall Lane encounter. His only contribution was when he fortuitously gave Warrington an eighth minute lead when a long range drive by Paul Anderton struck his head en route to goal. He finished the season on 52 goals.
With Whitehead off key, the other attacking options proved limited. Anderton, one of the few players to approach their normal form, fired narrowly wide twice before the interval. He also powered a header off target during the second half before Andy Tague hammered a shot against the bar as the side made a vain attempt to retrieve the game. Two late goals inside five minutes by substitute Paul Jackson, during a spell in which the home team forced Warrington to concede 11 corners in 25 minutes, sealed their fate.
He lashed in his first from close range before racing through to lob 'keeper Christian Steriopulos, who had retained his place despite the availability of the more experienced Alan Thompson following suspension.
Warrington Town: Steriopulos, Tague, Blair, Cartledge, Edwards, Berry, Nestor, Tickle (Coll: 58 mins); Tyrrell, Whitehead, Anderton. Subs not used: Bold, Clough.
Alan Hansen says: Och aye, sa reeeeeel disaaaaster fer Toon.