Skelmersdale United 2-2 Warrington Town

Two former Yellows strikers scored as Warrington Town were held to a 2-2 draw in their opening pre-season friendly at Skelmersdale United.

Richard Brodie won and converted a penalty 10 minutes from time with what looked to be the winning goal, after Luke Holden had earlier cancelled out Jack Dunn’s opener.

But Tom Warren bundled home with minutes to go to spare the Yellows’ blushes on a hot afternoon on which they used 19 players.

It proved a much different work-out to the one that kicked-off pre-season last year, where Paul Carden’s side came away 7-0 winners.

There was plenty of rustiness on what was the club’s first game for 158 days owing to the coronavirus outbreak, but it took just five minutes for the deadlock to be broken, the ball won in midfield for Dunn to run 30 yards and then drill low in to the bottom corner.

Dunn had started in a new role through the middle, with one of four starting trialists playing on the left flank. With no goalkeeper signed, two different stoppers played in either half.

New signing Callum Grogan could have scored a hat-trick of headers, two coming from Dunn corners in the early stages, both headed over the bar.

The lead should have been doubled on 23 minutes when the Yellows kept alive a corner, and Jack Mackreth’s deep cross fell to the feet of a trialist, who shot in to the side netting.

The main threat from Holden had been a couple of late challenges on Grogan, who was one of two players to play the full 90 minutes along with Mitch Duggan, until he popped up on the half hour with the equaliser, dragging home in to the far corner from the left.

Wholesale changes came at half-time, with a first run out in Yellows colours for new signings Joel Amado, Craig Carney and Charlie Munro, Munro in particular showing some nice touches.

After Grogan’s third headed chance was cleared off the line, Josh Amis looked to have restored the Yellows’ advantage when he fired home off a Duggan cross, only to be denied by a flag on the far side that left the striker perplexed.

A golden chance fell to a trialist on 75 minutes, released through the middle after good work by Warren, but he fired straight at the ‘keeper one-on-one and Warren could only fire the rebound wide under pressure.

Brodie, who played for the Yellows at the start of the 2018/19 season, was introduced off the bench and he won a penalty after dispossessing a trialist on the edge of the box, and he converted the spot kick well off the inside of the post.

That looked like pinching the win for the home side, until another Warren late show – some five months after his injury time winner in the Yellows’ last match, 3-2 at home to Matlock Town.

Pre-season continues with a trip to Irlam on Tuesday night.

Warrington Town: Trialist (Trialist), Duggan, Warren (Amado), Trialist (Carney), Roberts (Trialist), Grogan, Mackreth (Munro), Trialist (Dixon), Buckley (Trialist), Dunn (Amis), Trialist.

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