Did Witton retreat, or were they pushed back?

The home team spent almost all of the second-half on the back-foot, and for the most part defended with resilience.

Assistant manager Gary Martindale insisted afterwards that he hadn’t changed plans during the interval, which Witton reached a goal to the good, and instead Warrington penned in his side.

Albion invited some of that pressure by wasting possession when they regained it or when they committed unnecessary fouls that provided an opportunity for the visitors to send the ball into their penalty area.

“We can learn from that,” said Martindale.

“They mixed things up, something we perhaps don’t do often enough, and it made us have to think about defending.”

When injuries take a toll

Witton’s starting line-up was shorn of three regular starters in defence after Nick Ryan fractured his jaw at Sutton Coldfield.

With Anthony Gardner and Anthony Brown already ruled out, manager Carl Macauley moved quickly on Christmas Eve to sign Joel Bembo-Leta from league rivals Altrincham.

He enjoyed a discrete debut considering he only met his new teammates during the warm-up.

However with Paul Williams also missing, the home team could name just four substitutes.

When legs tired after the interval, and Albion needed something different to ease pressure on their defence, they lacked alternatives to players already on the field.

“Look at who they could put on,” rued Martindale, referring to Warrington’s match-winner Tony Gray.

A good day for old boys

Will Jones, who spent time with Yellows earlier in his career, put Witton ahead against his old club after pouncing on a ball diverted into his path by Jack Higgins.

The in-form attacker, who now has nine goals for the season, was more than a match for his markers in the air before the break.

Town’s former Albion contingent fared well too.

Liam Goulding, stationed in a midfield role in front of Yellows’ defence, was arguably the visitors’ outstanding individual performer behind Gray and along with new wide-man Will Hayhurst.

Meanwhile Adam Carden recovered from a shaky start in his duel with Owen Dale to emerge as a convincing victor in their head-to-head by full-time.

Witton have a gap to bridge

Albion have hosted four of the top-five teams at Wincham Park this season and lost to three of them – Altrincham, Grantham and Warrrington.

The exception is a narrow win against Workington in October, while Shaw Lane have yet to visit.

It is fair to say that Carl Macauley’s men have been competitive in each of those, only for their guests’ extra class in the attacking third of the field to tell.

James Poole was the best player on the pitch when the Robins travelled to Northwich in August, while Jordan Hempenstall and Tony Gray got Grantham and Warrington respectively out of a scrape when cornered.

Their brilliance in front of goal has been a reminder of what is required to make that next step up.

In praise of Michael Wilson

The defender made his 100th appearance for Witton on Boxing Day, and his 92nd start.

Now 22, he was one of Carl Macauley’s first signings after he was appointed as manager late in October 2015.

Wilson had scant experience of playing non-league football at that time following brief spells with Colwyn Bay and Connahs Quay.

However he has since become one of the team’s most improved players.

His campaign this time around has been disrupted by a long-term rib injury, although he has returned to the squad in recent weeks.

With Nick Ryan unlikely to feature again until February at the earliest, the ex-Liverpool junior has an opportunity to cement a place in the side.