A LATE goal prevented Warrington Town from making it six points over the Bank Holiday weekend as they drew 1-1 at Marine.
Liam Goulding’s shot through a ruck of bodies in the 89th minute earned the hosts a deserved point after Michael Grogan had given the Yellows a second half lead.
Karl Wills was in inspired form as he pulled off a number of fine saves to frustrate Marine for the majority of the match in a meeting between the last two winners of the Doodson Sport Cup.
Warrington were unchanged from Saturday’s 5-3 win over Grantham, while Marine looked to bounce back from losing for the first time this season at Buxton.
The early exchanges were fairly even, the Yellows restricted to a couple of wild efforts from Scott Metcalfe and Ciaran Kilheeney.
The game livened up midway through the first half, after Gerard Kinsella was forced off to be replaced by Jack Rudge. Rudge was welcomed to the game by a nasty looking challenge from Ryan O’Hare, who was shown a yellow card.
Warrington’s best chance came on the half hour mark when Grogan wasted a glorious opportunity who, left unmarked at the back post from Metcalfe’s free-kick, headed wide.
Marine ended the first half on the front foot though. The Yellows were fortunate not to concede when Sean Clancy sold Wills short with a back pass and Joe Mwasile wasn’t able to capitalise.
Then Wills made a terrific save with his feet to deny Billy Smart off Danny Mitchley’s cut back.
At the other end, a scuffed clearance by ‘keeper Calvin Hare set up Rudge for a shot from 25-yards out, but he snatched at the chance and dragged his shot in to a defender.
The second half started with Marine on top again, Smart marauding forward from midfield to get in behind and again being denied by Wills’ legs.
But the game opened up as a contest. At the other end, Metcalfe’s free kick was headed off the post by Kilheeney, before Wills was called in to action again, making a stunning one-handed save to deny Alex Davies’ well-hit half-volley.
Warrington boss Stuart Mellish shuffled his pack on 53 minutes, bringing on Liam Turner for Scott Harries and shifting Grogan in to the middle.
And it paid off barely four minutes later when Kilheeney, now stationed out right, put in an inviting ball in to the box and Grogan made sure with an unstoppable header.
Marine almost got back on terms five minutes later when the dangerous Mitchley turned James McCarten on the edge and fired a shot wide, off the outside of the post, and then substitute Karl Clair curled a shot just over.
Warrington were certainly on the back foot, and Clancy was forced to head one off the line before McCarten cleared crucially from inside the goalmouth after Smart’s header across goal.
The visitors’ best chance to make the points safe came on 78 minutes when Kilheeney burst away down the right hand side and waited for the supporting Ryan Winder, who just couldn’t get a clean connection on his shot and the chance was gone.
And not getting a second goal was to prove costly for the Yellows. Clancy was sent off for a second yellow card for time wasting after a free-kick was awarded, and from that set-piece Marine equalised.
Wills punched the ball high in to the air and as Turner and O’Donnell both failed to clear, Goulding’s shot ricocheted through a ruck of bodies to find the back of the net and deny the Yellows the three points.
Warrington are next in action on Saturday when they travel to Workington for the FA Cup first qualifying round.
Marine: Hare, Field, Short, Goulding, O’Hare, Threlfall (Bellew), Davies, Smart, Mitchley, Myler, Mwasile. Unused subs: Whyte, Hughes.
Warrington Town: Wills, Grogan, Clancy, O’Donnell, McCarten, Winder, Harries (Turner), Kinsella (Rudge), Kilheeney, Deegan (Dean), Metcalfe. Unused subs: Codling, Nicholas.