WARRINGTON Town progressed to the quarter-finals of the Cheshire Senior Cup with a 4-1 win at Sandbach United.
The Yellows didn’t have things their own way against a young Sandbach side, who impressed in the first half and took the lead through Kieran Garner-Knapper on 27 minutes.
But Will Harris’ goal with virtually the last kick of the first half proved telling, and a goal from Mitch Duggan early in the second half put Warrington in command and they coasted through the rest of the game against a side who play three leagues below them in the football pyramid.
As is often the case in these cup matches, Warrington bled some youngsters but overall it was a much more experienced team than usual, with Paul Carden taking the opportunity to get some of his players up to match fitness.
Duggan and Bohan Dixon both returned to action after missing the last three matches following their red cards at Morpeth Town before Christmas, while there was a welcome return in midfield for Shaun Beeley, last seen being helped off injured at home to Witton Albion on Boxing Day.
Jack Dunn returned to the starting line-up, as did David Raven, as both work their way back from injuries.
Young loanee forward Harris led the line for the Yellows on a heavy pitch that had little bounce, and made playing football in to feet difficult.
To their credit, Sandbach kept possession well and pressed the Yellows on to the back foot, and their efforts were rewarded when Garner-Knapper weaved through in the box and shot past a motionless Marcus Burgess in the Yellows goal.
That awoke the visitors from their slumber, and Dunn had a shot cleared from in front of the ‘keeper before hitting a free-kick over the bar.
Sandbach were still creating chances, but their hearts were broken on half-time as Harris took on a long ball forward and powered a strong shot past Samuel Booth, who was manning the Sandbach goal behind a boggy six-yard box that was often holding up the ball from low shots.
Carden was clearly unhappy with his charges at the break and they came out firing in the second half, Dixon and Dunn immediately linking up to set up a ball in to the middle, and from the resulting corner, Louis Sharp flicked on and Duggan headed home from barely yards out.
A minute later, Dixon’s scooped ball over the top saw Dunn shoot straight at Booth, and the relentless pressure created a second goal on 57 minutes, Harris springing the offside to finish clinically past the on-rushing Booth.
Pacey winger Tom Williams had Sandbach’s best chance of the second half, firing over the bar after he had started a counter attack close to his own corner flag, as the hosts tired, and they very nearly gifted the Yellows a fourth when a sloppy back pass just wouldn’t fall for Yellows substitute Jewad Jebrin.
The fourth goal did eventually come on 76 minutes, Dylan Vassallo releasing Jebrin on the left and when his pull-back fell behind Louis Sharp, Dixon was there to pick his spot with a cultured left-foot finish.
The Yellows return to league action on Saturday with a trip to bottom placed Stafford Rangers.
Sandbach United: Booth, Walker, Clayton, Atton, O’Riordan, Rowntree, Moscrop, Baker, Garner-Knapper, Williams, Evans. Subs: Hatton, Wood, Istead, Newton, Ellson.
Warrington Town: Burgess, Carden, Kanu, Beeley (Jebrin), Duggan, Raven (Yeates), Vassallo, Sharp, Harris, Dixon, Dunn (Cassidy). Unused subs: McMillan.