It was always going to be a tough ask for Warrington Town against AFC Fylde, and so it showed as they were knocked out of the FA Trophy.
Wembley was of course an unlikely dream for Shaun Reid, though one that felt even a tiny bit possible given the progress made by North Ferriby United in winning last season’s competition, having been one of Warrington’s victims in the memorable FA Cup run.
AFC Fylde, backed by investment and with an ambitious plan to reach the Football League, as well as a new stadium on the way, may be two leagues above but their quality probably stretched even beyond that.
Even with a weakened side, right-winger Matty Hughes caused Town all sorts of problems on the right hand side. The difference in stature was apparent throughout, and Fylde did the job with the minimum of fuss.
In many ways, the defeat – only Town’s second in their last 18 matches – may turn out to be a blessing, given the number one priority this season is to secure promotion to the Evo-Stik Premier League.
The conditions were far from ideal, and Fylde’s greater technical ability, inferior pace in the middle of park and their cutting edge in the final third shone through.
Warrington struggled for cohesion, with neither Ben Deegan or Ciaran Kilheeney really able to hold the ball up long enough to get wide men Scott Metcalfe and Chris Gahgan in the game on a regular basis.
There were players who stood up – centre-half Daniel O’Donnell showed his ability and goalkeeper Karl Wills pulled off a number of top class saves.