Jordan Buckley haunted his former club as Warrington Town opened the season with a 2-0 win over FC United at Cantilever Park.
The tireless forward opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and then sealed the points seven minutes from time to take him up to four goals against the Reds since leaving them to join the Yellows back in January 2020.
For FC United, their opening day hoodoo continued – it’s now nine years since they last started the season with a win.
It was an entertaining game in front of a 1,105 strong crowd at Cantilever Park with both sides fielding a number of debutants, one for FC United in Alastair Waddecar forcing the first save, a comfortable catch for Yellows’ new goalkeeper Dan Atherton.
Buckley was a constant menace to the FC United defence and he had a golden opportunity to open the scoring on 25 minutes, weaving past Drew Baker to go one-on-one with Dan Lavercombe, only for his weak shot to be kicked away by the ‘keeper.
A sloppy pass across the back gifted possession to Buckley minutes later, and he dragged a shot wide when well placed, and on two other occasions he took a shot early when more composure may have seen him through.
FC United’s best chance fell to Regan Linney, who failed to convert a fine ball in by Paul Ennis.
The deadlock was broken a minute before the break, a marauding run down the right by the excellent James Baillie saw the ball in to the box and it sat up nicely for Buckley to bury from eight yards out.
The Yellows started the second half strongly and only a superb save from point blank range by Lavercombe denied Mark Roberts’ header.
FC United, cheered on throughout by a significant away following, then started to see more of the game and Ennis spurned a glorious chance unmarked in the box that was well saved by Atherton.
Atherton was at his best to deny Aaron Morris, tipping a header on to the bar, but otherwise the Yellows stood firm.
And as time ticked on, Buckley made sure of the points when he shrugged off Curtis Jones and tapped home the rebound after Lavercombe had smothered his first attempt.
Warrington Town: Atherton, Baillie, Clarke, Duggan, Roberts, Ali, Miller (Grivosti), Hough, Buckley (Reid), Dixon, Duffy (Regan). Unused subs: Shepherd, Hall.
FC United: Lavercombe, Morris, Dodd, Smith (Rain), Baker, Jones, Ennis (Simpson), Potts, Waddecar, Main, Linney (Sinclair-Smith). Unused subs: White, Fieldhouse.