Report: Warrington Town 4-1 Matlock Town

Warrington Town made it through to a third consecutive Northern Premier League play-off final with a stunning 4-1 win over Matlock Town.

The red-hot Yellows scored four first half goals in front of a bouncing season-high crowd of 1,897 at Cantilever Park to book their place in Monday’s showdown for promotion to National League North.

The outstanding Luke Duffy scored two and set up another for Bohan Dixon, with Connor Woods smashing home a fourth as Mark Beesley’s side ran riot.

Matlock had snatched a play-off place on the final day of the season and came to Warrington in form, having won five of their last six games.

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And they had the first chance of the evening, Archie White’s run in to the box drawing a big paw away from goalkeeper Tony Thompson.

The visitors probably shaded the opening exchanges, but they fell behind on 12 minutes.

Duffy played the ball in to the feet of the excellent Josh Amis, who spun away from his man and had too much strength for Adam Yates and though his shot was saved by Saul Deeney it popped up for Duffy to sweep home.

Amis rippled the side netting with a drive from the right before a stunning 12 minute salvo that brought three more goals.

Duffy tormented Jamie Sharman down the left, moved along the byline and pulled back for Dixon to crash home for 2-0.

Photo credit: Sean Walsh

Then Matty McDonald, who had a fine game in the number 10 role, played a ball that cut a hole in the Matlock defence with Amis letting it run for Duffy to latch on it, round the keeper and side foot home in front of a delirious shed end.

The Yellows were opening Matlock up at will now and they scored a fourth four minutes before the break when Amis released Woods on the right and he shot home across the goalkeeper from just inside the box.

Dec Walker could have made it five before the break but for a save from Deeney, who was called upon. on several occasions in the second half too.

Duffy had two chances for a hat-trick, and both Amis and Woods came agonisingly close to diverting home McDonald’s ball across the goalmouth.

Matlock did at least give their 200 or so strong travelling support something to cheer late on, Brad Abbott picking out a fine goal from 25 yards out, but the game was long gone.

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Having beaten South Shields in the final in 2019 and been cruelly denied promotion via the super play-off, and losing to Scarborough last season, everyone at Warrington Town will be hoping 2023 can be third time lucky.

Warrington Town will now play Bamber Bridge at home in the play-off final on Monday 1 May (3pm kick-off).

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

Matlock Town: Deeney, Sharman, McNicholas, White (Abbott), Evans, Bradley, Byrne, Yates, Styche, Demidh (Duhameau), Johnston (Cartwright). Unused subs: Wakefield, Pollard.

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