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Match Preview and Report - Farsley Celtic (Home) 18.08.18
By Mark Strickland and Dominic Watts
By Dominic Watts
Tomorrow, the Yellows kickstart their 2018/19 campaign against Farlsey Celtic.
The opponents were promotion candidates last season and should be again, having made 7 signings including Jack Higgins and Will Hayhurst, both formerly of Town. Warrington have lost some starters in Sean Williams, Jamie McDonald, William Hayhust, Jack Higgins and Liam Goulding amongst others, but Paul Carden has brought the likes of David Raven, Mark Roberts, Ben Garrity, Jack Dunn, Jack Mackreth, Richard Brodie and more, to account for the departures.
Last season, Warrington beat Farsley 4-2 at home and 2-0 away, but it will be a tough game for both sides. Farsley Celtic were in good form in pre-season, winning 6 of their 9 friendlies. Warrington Town had mixed success in preseason, winning 4 out of 8, drawing 2 and losing 2.
Warrington have a good chance to get some early points against a strengthened Farlsey team, who are looking to go one step further this year.
By Mark Strickland
Nathan Turner and Will Hayhurst’s (on his return to Cantilever Park) goals, see the Yellows well beaten on the opening day.
So, after the summer where football nearly came home, with Warrington’s finest leading the Three Lions, it was time for the competitive club action to recommence.
The EVO-STIK Northern Premier League came in slightly later, than the rest of the other levels in the nation. The Premier League a week before (the 10th), whilst the Football League returned as early as the 4th of August.
By the time the Yellows hit the pitch for their first game of pre season, England’s World Cup dreams were over - the mere conciliation, a 3rd place play-off against Belgium.
Meanwhile, Warrington were back to work with a pre season friendly at Wythenshawe Town. The stalemate was one of the 8 pre season fixtures, as the Wire prepared for their third season in the top flight of the Northern Premier League.
The 12th of July, was the date for the fixture announcement. Despite being drawn at home for the opening day, Farsley Celtic would provide tough opposition, even if like Warrington, they were in a rebuilding stage after a play-off semi final defeat.
So fast forward over a month, and it was time for the game to commence. Strong squads for both sides, but transmitting quality as a team, was the challenge for each side.
Only 4 players from last season started in Tony McMillan, Adam Carden, Shaun Beeley and Tony Gray. The arrival of Mitchell Duggan at right back, saw Carden switch flanks. It was a brand new centre-back pairing with Mark Roberts and a well kept secret move for Aaron Hughes, saw the new man deputise instantly.
Further on, Robbie Evans and Ben Garrity started in the centre of the field, whilst Jack Dunn lined up on the right wing.
Tony Gray was partnered by Marine arrival, Josh Amis.
Meanwhile, Farsley starting XI saw former Yellows, Jack Higgins and William Hayhurst included.
However, it was James Spencer, who instantly made his mark on the game. He was perhaps harshly carded for kicking the ball away, after being frustrated by a decision.
11 minutes later, the visitors were in front. Nathan Turner picked up the ball from the outside of the area and hit a precise left footed effort out of the reach, of the outstretched McMillan.
The next ten minutes saw two excellent stops from Warrington’s number one. He has been excellent thus far, with some splendid pre-season performances, prior to the feature game.
Town’s best and perhaps only major chance of the half came just after the midpoint. Gray was on his toes, epitomising the pressing of his former strike partner, Jamie McDonald, to pounce on a slack back pass. He then cut the ball back to Amis, whose effort was goal bound, but had no elevation. The defence dealt with it, even though their keeper had been taken out of the equation.
The Yellows were dealt a big blow not long after though. Warrington withheld a dangerous set piece delivery, although Hayhurst produced a left footed firecracker to give Celtic breathing space. It was a bitter sweet moment after because as recently as April this year, he had scored from range for Paul Carden’s side against Farsley.
No changes were made at the interval, but a bold offensive move was made to introduce Dylan Vassallo, to add tenacity and speed.
It was certainly to avail for the most part, as he delivered an inch perfect corner for Adam Hughes. He leaped, connected and was ready to celebrate. Unfortunately for the Yellows, his header was diverted on to the bar, but didn’t bounce beyond the line. The correct call was made.
Two Yellows cards were the main taking points later on. Richard Brodie was unfortunately booked for simulation, whilst Spencer was to not complete the 90 minutes, being carded for the same offence he was booked for earlier in the game.
A disappointing start for the Yellows, but they will hope they can show character and will have the chance to get the first points on the board, when they travel to Lancaster on Tuesday.