By James Gordon
WARRINGTON Town closed the gap at the top of the Evo-Stik League table to just three points with a 2-1 win over play-off chasing Grantham Town.
Goals from Devarn Green and Jamie McDonald earned the Yellows three points on a bitterly cold, snowy afternoon at Cantilever Park, while league leaders Altrincham went down 2-1 at home to Stalybridge.
Warrington made the one change to the team held to a stalemate by Stafford Rangers on Tuesday night, Joe Piggott starting up front in place of Tony Gray.
A bitterly cold wind was blowing in from the Cantilever bridge end of the ground and was behind Grantham in the first half, though it was making the ball hard to control for both sides.
It would be the Yellows that would take an early lead, Sean Williams releasing Devarn Green and the Tranmere-loanee took his time and found the far corner for 1-0 on 12 minutes.
The front three for Grantham of Jordan Hempenstall, Lee Shaw and Curtis Burrows were a threat, and a cross by Burrows was headed just wide by Shaw just moments after the Yellows had opened the scoring.
Shaw thought he’d got an equaliser on 17 minutes from an Oliver Luto free-kick, only for it to be flagged for offside.
Hempenstall forced a routine save from Pilling low to his left after the Yellows had struggled to clear a ball on the edge of the box, while at the other end Piggott fired over from a decent position.
Horizontal snow combined with the wind for the latter stages of the first half and it was Grantham who were enjoying large parts of the play, a break for Shaw down the right and a first time shot forcing a stop from Pilling’s legs, but the Yellows would go in 1-0 to the good at half time.
The conditions inevitably meant the pattern of the game would change after the break, though in the initial knockings it was Grantham who had the better of the play.
But the gamebreaking moment came on 52 minutes when McDonald spotted that Kieran Preston was well off his line, as he had been for long periods of the game, and his curling shot from more than 35 yards had the ‘keeper scrambling back, and when it hit the bar it went in off the keeper’s back for 2-0.
That left the visitors with a mountain to climb and playing in to the heavy wind, and they struggled to create anything in the way of an opening, especially as the game continued to be broken up by substitutions.
Grantham did set up a frantic couple of minutes in injury-time thanks to Danny Meadows' goal in the dying moments, but the Yellows held on.
Warrington Town: Pilling, Carden, McKeown, Jennings, Higgins, Goulding, Green (Bakare), Williams, McDonald (Gray), Piggott, Hayhurst (Kinsella). Unused subs: Barnes, Makinson
Grantham Town: Preston, Potts (Batchelor), Luto, Lewis, Galinski, Hollingsworth (McGovern), Meadows, Wright, Hempenstall, Shaw, Burrows (Hakeem). Unused subs: Osbourne, McMenemy.