Yellows Match Report

20th November 1999 - Warrington Town 0 - 1 Darwen

Town go down to (very) early goal

Town 0 - 1 Darwen

Town let themselves down early on in this game and were unable to claw back the game for a point after a strong effort late on. A scrappy, scrambled goal for top-of-the-league Darwen after about 20 seconds meant Town were always chasing the game. It took them a while to get warmed up on this cold afternoon but by then it was obviously too late.

After the goal the game became rather physical, as Town struggled to find shape in their desperation to equalise. Neil Holden came the closest after about 17 minutes but Darwen were holding Town off. This was the story of the game all the way up until half time. McCormack made an exceptional save in the first half from a vicious Darwen strike but there was no need as the ref had already bnown for a free kick to Town. But that was about it.

The second half saw more excitement as Town increasingly piled on the pressure towards the end. They seemed to be sparked into swift attacking mode after a crazy ball in from Darwen twice bounced along the top of Neil McCormack's crossbar before it was hoofed clear. Town began to play better and some good chances went begging as the solid Darwen defence held out. McCormack was nutmegged during a break by Darwen, again coming close to scoring. Town brought on fresh legs in the form of Gavin McDonald and Terry Nestor, but Darwen's defence was proving to be unbreakable. The ball always seemed to fall to a defender who hoofed it clear. Town were in charge of the game for the last fifteen minutes, and Gavin McDonald came the closest for Town as, with the 'keeper beaten, his accurate shot was cleared off the line by a defender desparately scrabbling back. The other sub Terry Nestor came close also, as his ambitious shot from 25 yards flew inches high over the bar.

Town will know that the defensive lapse right at the start of this game cost them any points they were going to get out of this game, and must be careful not to let that kind of thing happen again.

Alan Hansen says: Oooooh deeeer, a meen tha' deefeense we asleep man. Ye cannae afoord ta doo tha a thees leevel o footbol. Thi defeence'll be veery disapoonted.

A Warrington Guardian report:


WARRINGTON were made to earn their crust right from the start in their First North Western Trains League Division Two Clash with table-toppers Darwen. Striker Paul Baker made the home defence look stale by capitalising on early confusion at the back to prod the ball home for a goal after just 17 seconds.

The rest of the first half was a close-run affair with Town's attack pushing the visitors' defence to the limit. Lively Neil Holden provided the inspiration first with a curling free kick which forced a save out of goalkeeper Lee Purvis, then wrestling his way clear to fire a shot on the turn which again drew a fine parry from point blank range. Purvis proved frustrating for Warrington all afternoon as he and his well marshalled defence perfectly reading every through ball played by Town's ambitious midfield.

Darwen too had their chances and Michael Douglas' lay-up header inside the penalty area proved a fatal attraction for Stephen Lynch to go for goal but his shot fired wide. Michael Lynch also sent out a rocket from 30 yards which goalkeeper Neil McCormack could only hold at the second attempt and Baker came within inches of grabbing a second from a spectacular diving header. They continued to push forward at the start of the second half with Lee Slater driving into the left hand side of the box but pushing his strike wide of the far post.

But with Holden continuing to work his magic up front an equaliser was always a threat and it was Holden who came closest to levelling the scores but his glancing header dropped just wide of the target. Strangely Holden was then made to suffer for manager Dave Hughes' anxiety to introduce midfield maestro Terry Nestor and as he left the field so too did Warrington's purpose and direction as the game became scrappy and lifeless. Finally Nestor began to boss the midfield in the closing stages of the game with Gavin McDonald and Neil Morgan having shots blocked by a crowded penalty area.

Team: Neil McCormack, Andy Tague, Steve Cartledge, Mark Ashton, Mike Tandy, Dave Tickle, Neil Holden, Kevin Tyrell, Ged Bushell, Robbie Preidt, Neil Morgan. Subs: Terry Nestor, Ian Callaghan, Gavin McDonald.