Dan Atherton: FC United win gives us a platform to build from

Warrington Town goalkeeper Dan Atherton insists his side must look to build from the clean sheet and three points secured at FC United of Manchester in midweek.

A dramatic late winner from second half substitute Josh Amis saw the Yellows clinch all three points at Broadhurst Park, moving them to within three points of fourth-placed Scarborough Athletic with a game in hand. 

Jubilant scenes marked the conclusion of Tuesday’s 1-0 away win, not least from Atherton himself, who sprinted the length of the field to join in with the on-pitch celebrations. 


The result also marked the first clean sheet kept by the Yellows under recently-appointed boss Mark Beesley.

Atherton was delighted that his side showed grit and resilience after recent late disappointment, most notably away at Hyde United and at home to Grantham Town, the bottom side in the Pitching In Northern Premier League Premier Division. 

Discussing their midweek success, he said: “You can’t really ask for much more than that. A clean sheet, a bit of a scuffle with some local rivals and a last minute winner.

“We’ve needed a win like this for a long time, and especially the clean sheet. That confidence is good for me as a keeper and the back four, knowing that we withstood so much pressure.

HIGHLIGHTS: FC United of Manchester 0-1 Warrington Town

“The clean sheet is massive for us, and it puts us in good stead now to finish off this season with confidence to try and keep more. The last minute goal was the icing on the cake.”

He also stressed the importance of earning three points against a fellow promotion contender.

“The reaction of the lads [to the winning goal] just shows how much it actually meant to us, and how much keeping that clean sheet meant to me and the centre-halves too,” he said.

Dan Atherton in action against Hyde United.

“It was a very good moment for us and hopefully we can take that confidence into Saturday and the rest of the games we’ve got left.”

Since their 4-1 triumph over Bamber Bridge on New Year’s Day, the Yellows hadn’t won in six matches prior to their midweek victory in Manchester.

Mark Beesley’s side currently occupy the final play-off spot and are three points clear of the chasing pack. 


The Yellows were set to travel to Basford United tomorrow, but that match has since been postponed due to storm damage sustained at their Greenwich Avenue home.

Despite having a weekend without action on the field, Atherton stressed the importance of the Yellows keeping their promotion hopes in their own hands, rather than being reliant on other results going their way. 

“We go into every game thinking that we need to get three points from this, because it’s one of those leagues where anyone can beat anyone,” he admitted. 

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“It’s important that we take each game at a time. The last thing we want to happen is for us to be relying on others.

“We want to put ourselves in a position where we are comfortable in the play-offs at least. 

“If we continue to do what we’re doing, and get into a good run of games where we’re getting three points and clean sheets, then anything can happen.

“We’ve got to back it [Tuesday’s performance] up now. It’s alright getting one result, but one good win doesn’t get you promotion.”

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