A FIRST-HALF header from Warrington’ Town’s Jordan Buckley was enough to give them victory at home to Radcliffe, suffered a third straight loss.

Both teams struggled to get a true foothold in the game and chances were few and far between.

In the end Warrington had just enough to get them over the line and move them up in the table, whereas a third defeat on the bounce sees Boro slip down a place to eighth in the BetVictor League Premier Division table.

Coming into the match Jon Macken’s men knew they were in for a tough task as they faced the team directly above them in the table, with the Yellows in sixth position and Radcliffe in seventh.

The two sides also entered the game in patchy form, Boro losing their previous two games and the home team looking to break a six-game winless run, so both sides were keen to arrest the recent slump and pick up three points.

Radcliffe manager Macken looked to change his side around following the disappointing 4-0 loss to Bamber Bridge, making six changes to the starting line-up. He welcomed Harry Winter and Liam Ellis back into the fold after both had recovered from injury.

Javid Swaby-Nevin was also included, fresh off his loan with the club being extended until the end of the season. Sam Billington was included at the base of midfield and Tyrell Warren also returned from suspension. There was also a debut for former England youth and now Saint Kitts and Nevis international, Raheem Hanley.

The home team started the stronger of the two sides, with the first chance of the game falling to Ben Garrity.

Jack Mackreth whipped in a ball from the right-hand side and Garrity rose to meet the cross, however Ollie Martin, pictured, was on hand to make a comfortable save. Shortly after, a Scott Brown corner caused havoc in the Boro box. His ball in was headed down by Garrity and several Town players took a swing at the loose ball, Radcliffe did well to get men in the way and blocked each shot before eventually scrambling it to safety.

The early pressure from the Wire looked to wake the Boro team up and they began to create some chances themselves. A throw-in was played back to Billington who swung a high cross into the box, Ellis rising highest to meet the ball, but his header was saved by Tony McMillan.

Not long after, Hanley launched a long throw into the area and found the head of Rick Smith. Smith saw his goalbound header smartly pushed over the bar by the alert McMillan.

Just as Radcliffe looked to have found their way into the game, the Yellows grabbed the first – and, as it turned out, only – only goal of the game in the 28th minute.

A free kick was given away on the left-hand side, from where Brown crossed towards the near post looking for the unmarked Buckley.

He was the quickest to react and glanced the ball past Martin to score his first goal for the hosts.

The home team looked to take the game to Boro and almost doubled their lead just a few minutes later. A swift counter-attack played in Jack Banister down the left-hand side, and he then looked to find Buckley advancing into the box.

Buckley took a touch and looked to place the ball past Martin, but the keeper pulled off a great save. Moments later, set-piece specialist Brown delivered another terrific ball into the box and Mark Roberts had a free header, but he somehow sent the ball over the bar.

Following the flurry of chances at the end of the half it looked as though the second period would continue in the same manner, but both teams struggled to create many openings as they cancelled each other out. Prince Haywood almost found an equaliser but his goalbound driven shot was blocked well by Roberts.

There was a real moment of concern shortly after this for Radcliffe.

A 50-50 ball was up for grabs with Boro on the attack and Scott Metcalfe and Garrity clashed as they looked to win the ball.

Metcalfe looked to have come off worse from the incident and had to be replaced with a nasty-looking injury, one that Macken will be hoping was not as serious as was first feared.

With Radcliffe pushing for a goal to level proceedings, Warrington almost sealed all three points with a second goal in the dying embers of the game.

Second-half substitute Tony Gray and Mackreth each saw shots blocked, and Banister had his goal-bound effort cleared off the line by Haywood.

In the end the Yellows just had too much for Boro who will be disappointed they were unable to create enough clear-cut chances to really test the opposition goalkeeper.

The result leaves Boro with work to do to get back into the play-off picture. Radcliffe will look for an upturn in fortunes this weekend when they welcome 19th-placed Gainborough Trinity to the Neuven Stadium.