WARRINGTON Town suffered their first defeat of the season as they went down 3-2 at Mickleover.
The Yellows led through Josh Amis after dominating the opening exchanges, but after Phillip Watt’s equaliser, they lost their way and it was the hosts who adjusted better to a double red card that saw Scott Brown and Mason Warren given an early bath.
Declan Bacon fired Sports in front on the hour and Stuart Beavon made the points safe with 10 minutes left, with Jordan Buckley’s injury-time goal mere consolation for Paul Carden’s side.
With a 100% record going in to the game, the Yellows started as favourites and they had the large majority of possession in the opening exchanges, as much of the game was played in the Mickleover half.
Amis had already gone close on seven minutes when an awkwardly cross by Michael Rose deceived the ‘keeper, with left back Alex Morris just about doing enough to stop Amis sneaking the rebound in at the post.
After forcing a corner, Amis opened the scoring by firing home from close range after Mark Roberts had headed Charlie Munro’s corner back across goal.
Joe Slinn watched Jack Mackreth’s rising shot over the bar and then Bohan Dixon, who found pockets of space throughout the first half, hit a bouncing shot wide.
The pattern of the game changed dramatically in the 10 minutes leading up to half-time.
First, Charlie Albinson was called in to action for the first time to deny Jake Bennett’s header from a narrow angle after an unorthodox one-two with Declan Bacon, and from the resulting corner, Albinson was beaten for the first time time this season, as defender Watt headed in from five yards out.
Then came the main talking point of the match as Brown and Warren went for a 50/50 challenge in midfield, which prompted a reaction from Warren and almost every other player on the pitch to get involved in the handbags afterwards.
Brown had jumped in to a two-footed tackle and was shown a red, while Mickleover captain Warren was also dismissed, despite his protests, for his reaction which saw him hover over Brown on the floor and raise his hands.
Warrington started the second half strongly without carving out a clear cut opportunity, Watt just about getting enough of a touch on a dangerous Rose cross to take it away from Amis.
But gradually, the triumvirate of Bacon, Paddy Webb and veteran Stuart Beavon started to cause the visitors problems and both Webb and Beavon had fired warning shots before Mickleover took the lead.
A bit of head tennis in midfield broke in favour of the hosts, and freed Bacon up behind Matt Regan and he kept his cool to finish well past Albinson for 2-1.
A couple of changes followed, with Chris Holroyd coming on for his Yellows debut, but they were finding it hard to unlock the Mickleover defence, while the hosts started to look ever more threatening on the break.
Amis came closest to an equaliser on 71 minutes, latching on to Regan’s clipped ball over the top, and trying to lob over Slinn, who just about got enough on it to keep it out.
In their desperation to get forward, the Yellows got sloppy at the back and they were punished 10 minutes from time when Beavon lofted the ball beautifully over Albinson first time and inside the far post for 3-1.
It could have got worse for the Yellows, with Bacon hitting the post with a cheeky chip of his own, and although substitute Buckley lashed one home in the third minute of injury time the game, and the Yellows’ unbeaten start to the season, was gone.
Mickleover: Slinn, Bennett, Morris, Warren, Butler, Watt, Milner, Wright, Webb (Ravenhill), Beavon (Walshaw), Bacon. Unused subs: Satchwell, Mills, Hawkins.
Warrington: Albinson, Baillie (Buckley), Rose, Munro, Roberts, Regan, Mackreth (Amado), Brown, Amis, Dixon, Dunn (Holroyd).