Warrington Town moved up to third in the Northern Premier League with a comfortable 3-1 win over Matlock Town.
It was arguably the Yellows’ best performance of the season as they took control with two first half goals from Man of the Match Stefan Mols and Jay Harris.
Loan forward Connor Woods scored for the third successive game in the early stages of the second half to make the points safe, with only Kallan Murphy’s late consolation blotting the copybook on an otherwise solid afternoon for the hosts.
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They won a corner inside the first minute of the match and that set the tone. Matlock ‘keeper Jim Pollard dropped a free-kick in the fifth minute that almost fell for Evan Gumbs, before Woods hit the post following good work from Eddie Clarke down the left.
Warrington’s football was crisp throughout and a nice move nearly saw Woods find McDonald, shortly before the opening goal.
Mols returned to his feet having been brought down in the previous attack, and surged on to a loose ball, driving forward and firing a right-foot shot across the ‘keeper from 20 yards for 1-0.
They had a golden opportunity to double the lead on the half-hour mark when Matty McDonald was chopped down by Matlock captain Ryan Qualter in the box.
But Pollard denied Sean Williams from the spot, diving well to his left to push the ball behind.
Missed penalties can sometimes turn games, but the Yellows made sure that wouldn’t be the case here. Williams delivered the subsequent corner and Harris snuck in at the back post to steer home.
Matlock had to step up and enjoyed a 10 minute spell before half-time where they applied some pressure.
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Former Yellows midfielder Alex Byrne tried a speculative lob that was kept out by Tony Thompson, before Jordan Barnett glanced wide a Byrne corner.
Within two minutes of the restart though, the Yellows had stretched their lead to three.
Mols’ free-kick was well saved by Pollard, who also denied Harris from the rebound, but he couldn’t stop Woods poking home the loose ball.
Woods, on loan from Southport, impressed again with his work rate and the Yellows will no doubt be keen to try and keep him beyond his initial spell.
The game was all but done as a contest, though Thompson had to be at his best to deny Bartosz Cybulski on 64 minutes, saving well to his right.
It looked like Thompson was heading for a third straight clean sheet, especially when John Johnston somehow hit the post from point-blank range, but two minutes from time, Murphy scored after Thompson had pushed away Johnston’s shot.
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The Yellows now have back-to-back cup games, away at Stalybridge Celtic in the Cheshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night and then at home to South Shields next Saturday.
Warrington Town: Thompson, Seary, Duggan, Hannigan, Gumbs, Harris (Dixon), Mols, Williams, Woods (Amis), McDonald, Clarke (Walker). Unused subs: White, Mfuni.
Matlock Town: Pollard, Mantack, Barnett, Lees (Hinds), Sharman, Qualter (Evans), Johnston, Abbott (Murphy), Cybulski, Byrne, Wiles. Unused subs: Njiara, Tuton.
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