Bootle slipped to their third successive home defeat this season as they were beaten 4-2 by 10-man Warrington Rylands in the Northern Premier League.

An entertaining game from beginning to end was fired into action immediately when Warrington’s Joe Bunney (1) opened the scoring before Bootle’s Ben Hodkinson (12) equalised soon after.

The away side took the lead again through Adam Buxton (29), before a more exciting second half yielded three more goals as Kane Drummond (50) and Callum Dolan (55) extended Warrington’s lead.

The home side got a goal back through Morgan Homson-Smith late on (78).

The calm before the storm of Bootle vs Warrington Rylands
The calm before the storm of Bootle vs Warrington Rylands

Bootle were looking to capitalise on recent back-to-back wins – NPL and FA Trophy – as Brian Richardson’s side welcomed high-flying Warrington Rylands who themselves were coming off an 8-0 drubbing of Ramsbottom United.

Warrington wasted no time in opening the scoring.

A free-flowing move which saw Andrew Scarisbrick back-heel pass the ball to an on-rushing Drummond who squared the ball across the box easily for Bunney to slot home for the early lead.

Just 10 minutes later the home team equalised through a lovely team goal.

Matty Hamilton, from just beyond the halfway line, played a ball through Warrington’s defence for Hodkinson to run onto before calmly finishing the ball into the bottom left hand corner while under pressure from goalkeeper Graeme McCall.

Parity in the scoreline did not last long though.

Declan Walker – a constant threat from set-piece delivery all game – delivered a pinpoint corner before the half hour mark which was met with a powerful diving header from Buxton whose attempt gave the away side a deserved lead.

The Bucks would have hoped for a better second half after the break, but their hopes were soon quashed as the Blues extended their half time lead.

After pinball in the penalty box, the ball fell to Bunney who remained calm in passing across the box to Drummond who easily finished to make the score 3-1 five minutes into the second half.

Perhaps the best goal of the game was scored not long after.

Ryland’s substitute Dolan picked up the ball on the left-hand side of the pitch, noticed Bootle keeper Jones off his line, and lifted the ball over him from 25 yards out to the sheer ecstasy of the Warrington dugout.

Warrington applying pressure on the Bootle penalty area.
Warrington applying pressure on the Bootle penalty area.

Although trailing, Bootle would be given a lifeline in the game when Ryland’s Richard Smith was sent off for a dangerous – above the ankle – slide tackle with 20 minutes to go.

The team from Merseyside applied pressure and were unlucky not to score.

Efforts from Hodkinson, which was well saved by McCall at point blank range, and the disallowing of a goal from James Cooper after the ball had gone out of play.

The Bucks would get their goal eventually though a bizarre but well placed, low, driven free kick from winger Homson-Smith sneaking its way through all of the players to bring the score to 4-2.

The home side then had a chance to pile even more pressure on their opponents when Jack McGowan was clumsily fouled in the box with five minutes to go.

Hodkinson stepped up to take the penalty, but his effort was athletically saved by McCall to the jubilation of the away side, securing the three points for Warrington.

The result sees Bootle slip down to 11th in the table. Warrington move up to 2nd.

After the game, manager Brian Richardson spoke to Merseysportlive about the result.