Warrington Town returned to winning ways and with it returned to the Northern Premier League play-off places with a 3-1 win over Belper Town.
Early goals in either half from Josh Amis and Dec Walker put them in command, though it needed Bohan Dixon’s late penalty to make sure of the points after Belper had pulled a goal back from the spot.
The Yellows finally got their reward for the dominance and numbers of chances they have created in recent weeks after a frustrating run of three consecutive draws.
After the latest draw at Nantwich started the New Year, the Yellows got off to the perfect start when Amis latched on to a through ball and kept his cool and slid the ball underneath Owen Mason to open the scoring on five minutes.
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Mason would prove to be the barrier to more goals in the first half, as he pulled off no fewer than three fine saves to keep the score at 1-0.
First his trailing leg kept out Isaac Buckley-Ricketts shot after he had cut in from the left, and then when Andy White poked through for Luke Duffy, Mason was out quick to divert Duffy’s shot on to the post and out.
From the corner, Amis got up highest and saw his goalbound header clawed away by Mason, but his best save came on the half hour mark when the excellent Duffy dummied his way through in the box only for Mason to stand tall and deny him from eight yards out.
The Yellows dominated the first half and all Belper could muster in reverse were two half chances for James Tague, the first a shot that found the side netting and the other a shot that was dragged well wide shortly before the break.
As has been the case on a regular basis in recent weeks, Tony Thompson was largely a spectator though he did at least have to catch a routine Todd Jordan header at the start of the second half that perhaps incorrectly hinted Belper may be more of a threat after the break.
The visitors’ chances were diminished further in the 49th minute and in some style.
A cross field pass was cushioned down by the head of Duffy in to the path of Walker, starting a right-back following the departure of Josh Seary and injury to Mitch Duggan, who then lashed a shot in to the roof of the net from inside the box for his first goal for his hometown club.
That opened the game up further for Duffy to work his magic, and only a desperate block by Tom Wilson denied him a goal after a wonderful turn in the box.
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Duffy then laid on a chance for Amis via Buckley-Ricketts, only for the Yellows skipper to hit his rising shot just over the bar.
But from nowhere, Belper gained a foothold in the match with 25 minutes to play. A mistake from a throw in created space for Jacob Gratton and with Brodie Litchfield on his inside, he was checked in the box by Evan Gumbs and the referee pointed to the spot.
Harry Middleton stepped up and converted for 2-1.
Although Yellows fans might have feared a shaky final quarter, in truth Belper never really looked like finding an equaliser.
And they sealed the points in the 82nd minute, substitute Jordan Buckley dragged down in the box by Jordan, enabling Dixon to step up and send the ‘keeper the wrong way, his first goal since October 2020.
The Yellows now have three away games in eight days, starting with the trip to Hyde United on Tuesday night.
Warrington Town: Thompson, Walker, White, Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris, Buckley-Ricketts, Williams, Amis (Buckley), Dixon (McDonald), Duffy (Mols). Unused sub: Clarke.
Belper Town: Mason, B Middleton, Rhodes, H Middleton, Wilson, Jordan, Tague (Reaney), Cartwright, Tuton, Gratton (Peel-Evans), Litchfield (Butterill). Unused subs: Elkossi, Davison-Hale.