Report: Warrington Town 2-2 Whitby Town

Warrington Town squandered a host of second half chances as they were held to a 2-2 draw by 10-man Whitby Town.

Matty McDonald equalised within seconds of Malik Dijksteel’s first half red card and he put the Yellows in front on the hour mark.

The game only looked like going one way as the hosts peppered the Whitby goal, only to find ‘keeper Shane Bland in inspired form.

And his efforts at one end were rewarded when a solitary chance fell to the Seasiders with six minutes to play, Aaron Braithwaite firing a loose ball in to the bottom corner and earn a point.

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Although the draw prolonged the Yellows unbeaten run to a club record 15 games, the manner of it perhaps felt like a defeat.

Both sides created half chances in the opening quarter of the game, Harry Green hitting the post from a tight angle for Whitby and Evan Gumbs forcing Bland to tip his header over the bar.

Dijksteel was causing problems through the middle, though some impressive defending from Gumbs kept him out midway through the first half.

A nice one-two between Dijksteel and Green earned Whitby a free-kick on the edge of the box on the half hour mark, which drew a smart stop by Tony Thompson, pushing away Priestley Griffiths’ effort.

Whitby kept the ball alive and took the lead in fortuitous circumstances, as Lewis Hawkins’ ball in to the box drifted over Thompson and in to the far corner for 1-0.

But a booking for dissent and then a silly foul on Mitch Duggan saw Dijksteel shown two yellow cards to reduce the visitors to 10 men, and their one goal advantage vanished in a flash too.

From the free-kick given for Dijksteel’s foul on Duggan, the Yellows moved the ball in to the box quickly with McDonald heading home from Sean Williams’ cross.

Photo credit: Sean Walsh

That put the Yellows on the front foot for the second half and they largely dominated proceedings.

The second goal came on the hour mark, as a neat ball by Duggan released Luke Duffy in the box and after his first cross was blocked and kept out from going for a corner, Duffy played it across for McDonald to steer in from six yards out.

It was the least the Yellows deserved and they continued pushing for a third to seal the win. Jordan Buckley timed his run perfectly to latch on to Duffy’s through ball, only to be denied by Bland, and then from the rebound, he shot in to the side netting.

McDonald looked hungry for a hat-trick and a fine turn in the box created space though his clipped ball across the box hit the top of the crossbar.

Williams almost caught Bland out in similar circumstances to Hawkins’ first half goal, from virtually the same position, with the Whitby ‘keeper back pedalling to tip over his crossbar.

Bland saved one-handed to deny Duffy from 20 yards and then denied McDonald his hat-trick by tipping a shot on to the crossbar after Stefan Mols’ touch and pass had released the midfielder in the box.

And the Yellows were made to rue the missed chances in the 84th minute, when on a rare Seasiders attack, the hosts failed to clear their lines on the edge of the box and Braithwaite punished them by firing the ball low in to the bottom corner.

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The dominant hosts were shellshocked and it took until stoppage time for them to create more chances, with Tom Hannigan’s shot well blocked by Daniel Rowe and then in the dying seconds, Mols headed against the post from Williams’ superb cross.

The draw lifts the Yellows up to third in the table ahead of the visit of play-off rivals Bamber Bridge on Saturday.

Warrington Town: Thompson, Walker (White), Duggan (Cole), Hannigan, Gumbs, McDonald, Buckley-Ricketts, Williams, Buckley (Mols), Dixon, Duffy. Unused subs: Harris, Warren.

Whitby Town: Bland, Griffiths (Haswell), Shepherd, Gell, Rowe, Beeden, Braithwaite, Hawkins, Dijksteel, Tuton (Ritson), Green (Simpson). Unused subs: Fewster, Scaife.

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