A poor start to Town’s home game against Stalybridge Celtic was enough to signal Warrington’s third home defeat this season. Celtic’s Jonathon Ustabasi opened the scoring in the 10th minute.
It took 21 minutes for the home team to get their first real sight of goal. Dylan Vassallo was released by a clever little flick-on from Tony Gray, but Vassallo’s shot was saved by the feet of goalkeeper, Alex Fojticek.
The 19-year-old Slovakian keeper, who has represented his country at the U15 to 21 levels, is currently on loan to Celtic from Manchester United. He made his Manchester United debut for their U18 side against Middlesbrough in October 2016, and his U23 debut in March this year against Sunderland. But unfortunately for him, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has a wealth of goalkeeping talent at Old Trafford.
Fojticek isn’t the only keeper United have put on loan this season. He joins Dean Henderson who has gone to Sheffield United and Kieran O’Hara who is on loan to Burton Albion. But with David de Gea (who Lee Sharpe rates as the best goalkeeper in the world) in the last year of his contract, Fojticek’s fortunes could change next season.
Warrington Town certainly didn’t do much else to test the young goalkeeper until later in the game. He was rarely troubled by the routine balls Town played into his area. It was only after Alex Byrne came off the subs’ bench that he was called upon to make a smart save. It came after a Byrne ball to Gray created a goal-scoring opportunity.
When the Yellows went two behind thanks to a goal from Celtic’s Neil Kengni, it looked like it was all over, but a late goal from Garrity gave Town a brief glimpse of rescuing the game. It was not to be, and Warrington lost their third game of the season in front of their home crowd.
So, what is going wrong for the team at Cantilever Park? With only two wins and one draw, the three losses weigh heavy. Looking at goal differences First places South Shields are in +16, second-placed Basford United are +11, while third positioned Lancaster City are on +8. Warrington’s goal difference is +5. It is a significant gap.
To improve his attacking options, Paul Carden, who in May this year agreed on a new contract with the Yellows, has taken 19-year-old Welshman, Iwan Murray on loan from Chester for one month. Although he hasn’t had a game for Chester this season, the youngster did score three goals in 18 appearances for them last year. One of them was an absolute screamer from 25 yards out.
He got a man of the match award on his debut for Chester against Kidderminster Harriers. Murray is a young player of great potential, a fact which Chester acknowledged pre-season when they tied him into their ranks with a new one-year contract.
Warrington Town fans got a first look at the Welshman when he came off the bench against Stalybridge Celtic. He didn’t get his name on the score sheet, but one has to remember this was his first competitive game this season. Another game or two will bring him up to speed. He could give the Town that extra boost to get their goal scoring rate up. A pity his loan is only for one month.