Warrington Town were dealt a second half sucker punch as they were beaten 1-0 at home by FC United of Manchester.
United goalkeeper Wyll Stanway was Man of the Match on his debut and the visitors grabbed the points thanks to substitute Will Russ’ goal on the counter-attack.
Stanway thrice denied Isaac Buckley-Ricketts and adjusted well to save from a Sean Williams free-kick as the Yellows simply couldn’t find a way through.
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The game ended under a cloud, as former Yellows midfielder Luke Griffiths was sent off for elbowing Jay Harris after a bad challenge in midfield.
The Yellows started the game with a half chance inside the first minute as Williams found some space outside the box, dummied inside and then hit a rising left-foot shot well over the bar.
A couple of Williams corners came to nothing and then the visitors started to grow in to the game.
A nice one-two between Callum Gribbin and Regan Linney resulted in the latter having a shot fumbled by Tony Thompson, who then managed to scramble the rebound away from Joe Rodwell-Grant.
Rodwell-Grant came closer than anyone in the first half when his scuffed shot from the penalty spot went beyond Thompson and came back off the far post.
Linney was again involved in a one-two on the edge of the box to create space for Michael Donohue, his first time effort finding the side-netting.
The hosts were restricted to two acrobatic efforts, first from Williams which was blocked by Andy Halls amidst faint handball appeals, and then when Stefan Mols found the fans behind the goal with an overhead kick after Andy White had nodded back Josh Seary’s cross.
The introduction of Josh Amis off the bench at half time gave the Yellows impetus and almost immediately from the restart, he had a shot blocked from a free-kick.
The Stanway and Buckley-Ricketts trilogy then commenced, with the striker latching on to a slide rule pass by Williams, only to be denied by Stanway’s diving save to his left.
Five minutes later, Buckley-Ricketts turned his man inside out and managed to squeeze the ball through Stanway only for Curtis Jones to clear off the line.
Then came the killer blow. Williams kicked the ground from a free-kick and from the resulting possession, United hit on the break with Linney’s shot across goal blocked by Mitch Duggan only for Russ to poke home.
That intensified the Yellows’ need for a goal and the arguably the best save of the lot followed, when Stanway pushed over Buckley-Ricketts’ shot one-handed.
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A run of three free kicks on the edge of the box ended in a fiercely hit effort low by Williams taking a deflection and Stanway adjusted mid dive to again save one handed, and moments later he pushed away Buckley-Ricketts’ half volley.
But FC United weathered the storm and the Yellows wouldn’t muster a spell of such pressure again.
And towards the end frustrations boiled over, as Harris fouled Griffiths, who then reacted with an elbow to the head and saw red.
The Yellows are next in action away at Bamber Bridge on Tuesday night.
Warrington Town: Thompson, Seary, White (Duggan), Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris, Mols (Howard), Williams, Buckley-Ricketts, Dixon, Duffy (Amis). Unused subs: McDonald, Walker.
FC United: Stanway, Degruchy, Armstrong, Ennis (Kuleya), Halls, Jones, Gribbin, Griffiths, Linney, Rodwell-Grant (Russ), Donohue (Vincent).
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