By James Gordon
WARRINGTON Town’s six game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end as they were beaten 2-0 by Stalybridge Celtic.
Two goals in the final five minutes of the first half swung the game in Celtic’s favour and they comfortably saw out the second half to record a double against the Yellows this season.
Former Yellows midfielder Connor Hughes won a penalty on 41 minutes that was converted by Liam Dickinson and then Greg Wilkinson scored a beauty from the right angle of the box right before the whistle.
It was a competitive opening as both sides felt each other out and the Yellows were enjoying some success down the right, as Devarn Green caused constant problems for the defence.
Unfortunately, it was the final ball that eluded the Yellows.
The first chance came on nine minutes when Tony Gray got to the front post to head Will Hayhurst’s corner goalwards, and pulled off a fine save by Jack Walton, tipped over the bar.
It was the half hour mark until the next threat goal wards, Joe Piggott shooting wide at the second attempt.
Stalybridge ended the half strongest and a brilliant pass from midfield by Danny Morton split the Yellows defence and with Hughes chasing, he was awkwardly brought down by goalkeeper Tony McMillan in the box.
The ‘keeper guessed the right way from the spotkick, but Dickinson’s effort was too far.
And the Yellows were hit by a double hammer blow as a superb strike by Wilkinson doubled the lead on 45 minutes.
Paul Carden introduced new loan signing Mehdi Leacock-McLeod at half time and he was a constant menace in the second half.
But with a two goal cushion, Stalybridge could sit back and they kept a tight ship for the whole of the second half.
On the hour, Green’s left foot shot was comfortably saved by Walton and no fewer than three times did Leacock-McLeod get to the byline and get a low ball in to the danger area but to no avail.
As Warrington pushed for a way back in to the game, they were open to threat on the second half and Hughes twice could have scored a goal against his former club.
On 77 minutes, substitute Jamie McDonald turned and shot over from Shaun Beeley’s throw and when Sean Williams’ shot bounced around and was cleared, you felt it wouldn’t be the Yellows’ day.
Even with six minutes added time, Warrington couldn’t find a way through and perhaps even 60 wouldn’t have been enough.
The Yellows are back in action on Tuesday night at home to Workington.
Stalybridge Celtic: Walton, Holgate, Taylor (Brown), Morton, Ashworth, Killock, Wilkinson (Roberts), Honeyball, Dickinson, Wolfenden, Hughes. Unused subs: Charles, Ramsden, Winterbottom.
Warrington Town: McMillan, Beeley, McKeown, Jennings (Kinsella), Higgins, Goulding, Green, Williams, Piggott (McDonald), Gray, Hayhurst (Leacock-McLeod). Unused subs: Barnes, Bakare.