Evo-Stik Northern Premier League

Warrington Town

Williams (37), (81), Green (42), Gray (54)

Hednesford Town

Glover (9)

(2) 4

(1) 1



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Danny Glover


Buxton (A) 24.3.18

The Pitmen's win over Marine on Saturday was quickly banished from the memory banks, as title-chasing Warrington comprehensively beat Rob Smith's side this evening at Cantilever Park with a second-half salvo


The 3-2 win over lowly Marine had maintained the Pitmen's ninth place in the league table at the start of play, ending Hednesford's two-game losing spell in the league. Antony Dwyer - signed in the morning from AFC Telford - was handed an immediate debut by Smith, coming in in place of Ben Bailey in the only change from Saturday's win at Keys Park


Warrington had built upon last season's strong showing in their first season at step three this time around, spending the majority of the season in the play-off places. Local rivals Altrincham had looked odds-on to take the title a few weeks ago, but Alty's defeat to Stalybridge Celtic, coupled with Warrington's win over Grantham Town, had moved the Yellows within three points of the table-toppers. Former Hednesford players Sean Williams and Devarn Green were both named in Paul Carden's strong-looking starting line-up alongside Tony Gray, who had given the Pitmen the runaround at Keys Park in the revere fixture last month


On a cold evening in Cheshire, it was the Pitmen who took a surprise lead with the first meaningful effort of the game on nine minutes. James Lawrie's pinpoint free kick found the head of Danny Glover, who added to his brace at the weekend by heading firmly past McMillan from close range to give the Pitmen an early lead


 There was a loud shout from the home faithful for a penalty kick on ten minutes, as Jack Higgins was allegedly brought don in the Hednesford penalty area, but the referee was unimpressed and waved away the protests


 Warrington went agonisingly close to equalising on twenty minutes, as a breathtaking save from James Wren denied them a certain leveller; a cross from Green found Steven Jennings, whose shot was blocked. The rebound fell to Williams, whose goalbound shot was quite brilliantly turned away by Wren to add to his back catalogue of outstanding stops for the season


Skipper Tom Thorley found himself in a great position to try a shot from range on twenty-nine minutes but dragged his long-range effort well wide of McMillan's goal after the ball had rebounded off the referee and into his path


 Gray got goal side of the Hednesford defence on thirty-four minutes and flicked on a Williams corner, but the ball flashed across the face of the Hednesford goal and out of play without anyone in a yellow shirt able to turn the ball home


The pressure on the Hednesford goal finally told for the hosts on thirty-seven minutes, as Williams pulled his side level against his former club. A free kick in a dangerous position was curled beautifully home by Williams, beating the wall and the dive of Wren to put Warrington back on level terms


The game turned on it's head just before half-time, as Green put Warrington into the lead with his first effort on goal. After turning inside from the wing, former Pitmen striker Green steadied himself and curled a shot beyond the reach of Wren and into the far corner of the net to make it 2-1


Things got worse for the Pitmen a few minutes into the second half, as Warrington put themselves firmly in control with a third goal on fifty-four minutes. Gray did well to hold off the attentions of Charlie Gatter as he got goal side of the Hednesford defence before cutting inside and finishing well beyond Wren


 The Pitmen made their first change of the evening on seventy minutes, as James Fitzgibbon came on in place of the once-again ineffective Jordan Graham, who had been well shackled by the Warrington defence


 This was followed by a bold double change for the Pitmen five minutes later, as Reece King came on in place of skipper Thorley and Joey Butlin came on up front in preference to Lawrie


 Warrington wrapped up all three points with a killer fourth goal on eighty-one minutes, with Williams once again on the mark. It was another free kick that did it for the Warrington man, who executed another superb set-piece to bend a low shot in beyond the Hednesford wall and find the far bottom corner of the net to complete the scoring


Warrington substitute Gerard Kinsella almost made it a hammering for the Pitmen five minutes later, but another fine stop from Wren denied Kinsella a goal with a solid save down to his right-hand side


A disappointing response from the Pitmen following Saturday's morale-boosting win, but Warrington were good value for their win courtesy of being well-organised, strong and clinical in front of goal. With Altrincham held at home to Mickleover Sports, the gap at the top is down to a point, with Warrington visiting Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday looking to top the table if Alty slip up at Halesowen Town. The Pitmen - whose season is now rapidly petering out - visit Buxton on Saturday, with defeat likely to end any lingering hopes of gate-crashing the play-offs


Warrington Town: McMillan, Carden, McKeown, Jennings (Barnes 87), Higgins, Goulding, Green, Williams ©. Piggott, Gray (Bakare 84), Hayhurst (Kinsella 75)     Unused Subs: Davis, Makinson


Hednesford Town: Wren, Mendez-Jones, Curley, Gatter, Oji, Rea, Dwyer, Thorley © (King 75), Glover, Graham (Fitzgibbon 70), Lawrie (Butlin 75)   Unused Subs: Bailey, Harris