Warrington Town manager Mark Beesley has described his side’s first half display against Matlock Town as “unplayable”, as they swept aside the Gladiators to book their place in the Northern Premier League play-off final.
A double for Luke Duffy, either side of Bohan Dixon’s emphatic finish inside the penalty area, put Town 3-0 up inside 35 minutes.
Connor Woods then lashed home a fourth shortly before half-time, sending the masses of supporters behind the goal into dreamland.
The Yellows had chances to add to their tally after the break but were thwarted on multiple occasions by visiting goalkeeper Saul Deeney, who pulled off a number of fine stops to lessen the margin of defeat.
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A wonderful strike from Brad Abbott made it 4-1 with five minutes to play, but it would not dampen the mood as the Yellows secured the win in front of a season-high 1,897 fans at Cantilever Park, and with it a play-off final meeting with Bamber Bridge next Monday.
“It was outstanding. To a man, we were unplayable at times,” Beesley said post-match.
“To be 4-0 at half-time, I was a little bit disappointed to be honest because it could’ve been six or seven!
“The finishing was outstanding, the movement, the space. We spoke about a game plan and they went out and did it to a tee.”
“We had that calmness in midfield, that pass. We knew where we could try and hurt them, getting the ball to our wide players.
“We had a great platform up front and countered really well. At times, we looked really good going forward.”
Beesley was also full of praise for Luke Duffy, who capped off a Man of the Match display with two goals and an assist as the Yellows moved to within one game of promotion to the National League North.
It was he who opened the scoring after Deeney could only parry Josh Amis’ shot back into the danger area, and he cut the ball back for Dixon’s goal before rounding the Gladiators keeper to bag a brace.
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On Duffy’s display, Beesley added: “He should have had a hat-trick, that’s what I’ve said to him! He’ll never have a better chance, with two one-on-ones.
“He’s been getting better and better. We all know what he’s got, but we’ve got to remember that the kid missed a year of football due to Covid.
“His growth and development this year has been outstanding. He’s infectious, and when he gets the ball everyone is off their feet because he has that bit of magic in him.”