Unlike some of their Northern Premier League rivals, Warrington Town aren’t able to claim a rich and varied cup pedigree. However, the 2014-15 season will live long in the memory of many Town fans who witnessed an FA Cup giant-killing at Cantilever Park, a game which was also broadcast live on the BBC. Despite disappointment in the second round, they also enjoyed success in the Doodson Sports Cup later in the campaign. Although they were only able to finish ninth domestically, it was a hugely memorable season for the club and the extra revenue also helped boost the coffers. We take a look back at the Yellow’s 2014 exploits and relive one of the most notable moments in the club’s history.
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With Town having been eliminated from all knock-out competitions this season, the league remains the sole focus for the club at the moment but the FA Cup has provided a decent payday for the Yellows in the past with the 2014-15 campaign proving particularly memorable.
The qualifying campaign began as early as August 30th with a 4-1 success over Barton Old Boys and this was quickly followed by a narrow 1-0 victory over Trafford at Cantilever Park. Sheffield proved tougher opposition with Town requiring a replay in order to progress to the next round. Colwyn Bay were the next victims with the Conference North side falling to a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a dramatic stoppage-time winner and that was to be followed by yet another giant-killing. Managed by Shaun Reid, the Wire began to attract plenty of media attention and they continued their momentum with a 1-0 victory over North Ferriby and this proved enough to propel the club to the first round of the competition for the first time in their history. Prior to 2014, Warrington Town had been starved of FA Cup success with the club failing to progress beyond the fourth qualifying round.
They were drawn against Exeter City in the first round of the competition with the match chosen for TV coverage by the BBC. This was all part of the magic of the FA Cup and Cantilever Park was packed out with Town regulars helping create an electric atmosphere under the floodlights. There were 100 places between the two teams but that didn’t seem to bother Town, who started quickly and took the lead after just seven minutes through Craig Robinson. The club were the centre of attention for ninety minutes and they were defying their status as the lowest-ranked team left in the competition. They survived a number of scares throughout the contest with David Noble rattling the woodwork for the visitors but the Yellows rallied and were able to clinch a historic 1-0 victory over Paul Tisdale’s men. It was the perfect day for Town fans and the script had been written for the BBC, who were able to deliver a truly memorable cup upset for their viewers. A famous pitch invasion followed the final whistle and Warrington Town’s name would be in the hat for the second round of the competition.
— Guardian sport (@guardian_sport) November 7, 2014
IMAGE SOURCE: Twitter.com
Unfortunately, the journey would end in the North East with fifth tier Gateshead running out 2-0 winners in the second round of the competition. Warrington Town enjoyed a memorable run in the FA Cup and had created an unforgettable night for their long-suffering supporters and although they came close to reaching the first round once again in 2018, they’ve so far been unable to replicate those heroics of November 2014. The FA Cup always delivers on entertainment but sadly the club weren’t able to reach the third round of the competition and potentially come up against a Premier League side. Fans would have relished the opportunity to have seen their side face either neighbours Liverpool or Manchester City at Cantilever Park with the latter priced at 4/1 favourites with Betway for the 2018-19 FA Cup and expected to reach the latter stages of the competition. The arrival of a top-flight outfit would have created some much-needed revenue for the club but, alas, they fell at the final hurdle. The Heed proved far too strong for their visitors and grabbed an early goal which helped them take control of the tie.
Doodson Sport Cup
Now known as the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup, Wire enjoyed further success in knock-out competitions with a dramatic victory over Farsley Celtic in the final. Their run to this stage included a memorable 7-1 hammering of Mossley with Kevin Townson netting a hat-trick against the minnows.
The Yellows were taken to a penalty shoot-out at Edgeley Park with Chris Gahgan striking the winning spot-kick. He scored 88 times for the club before departing in 2016 but his composure from twelve yards will be fondly remembered by all of the travelling Town fans, who celebrated their side’s cup success effusively.
Warrington Town have been largely starved of cup success over the last couple of decades but their history-making 2014-25 campaign will live long in the memory of their supporters and they’ll be desperately hoping to see their side back in the hat for next season’s FA Cup first round.