Clayton’s late goal earns Nantwich a deserved point – Nantwich 2-2 Barwell – Match Report


Nantwich and Barwell contested a 2-2 draw on a fine Bank Holiday afternoon, as a late goal from Harry Clayton helped Dave Cooke’s side grab a point from a tough game at the Weaver Stadium. Matt Bell opened the scoring after twenty-five minutes, but the home side were pegged back before half-time as Tom Bates equalized for Barwell. Clayton McDonald was unfortunate to put the ball in his own net to make it 2-1 to the visitors. However, McDonald redeemed himself and assisted Man of the Match Harry Clayton whose goal grabbed The Dabbers a point from the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division clash.

The first chance of the game fell to Nantwich Town as the ball spilled from Barwell’s defence; it looked like Kaiman Anderson was going to latch onto the loose ball for his second goal in three days, but it wasn’t to be as Liam Castle rushed out to take the ball from Anderson’s feet.

Eight minutes in, Nantwich earned a free-kick twenty-five yards from goal. Sean Cooke, The Dabbers’ dead-ball specialist from last season, stepped up and his curling free-kick only narrowly scraped the post.

Two minutes later, an attack formed for Barwell, as an under-hit shot from Ryan Robbins bounced around before being scooped up by goalkeeper Krystian Burzynski.



Another free-kick was awarded for Nantwich after twelve minutes. The ball was delivered across goal towards the head of Harry Clayton, but the striker’s shot was blocked and went out for a corner.

Toby Mullarkey found room to move in the middle of the park, a deep pass was launched over to Jordan Davies, who rolled the ball over to Sean Cooke – the resulting shot however, flew over the bar.

Harry Clayton received the ball on the edge of the area and after beating his man, he curled the shot towards goal, but unfortunately was just past the top-left corner of the goal.

After a quick drinks break halfway through the first half, Nantwich pieced together a quick attack, a ball from Harry Clayton was dragged across the goal towards Matt Bell. The attacking midfielder put his foot through the ball and fired past Liam Castle in the Barwell goal to give The Dabbers the lead.

Barwell’s first order of action following the goal was to recover in the middle of the park, but after attempting to find an immediate response, Nantwich’s midfield shut down another quick move from the away side.

The Dabbers looked very confident during the course of the first half, dominating possession in the middle of the park, yet, on the stroke of half-time, Barwell levelled things up as Tom Bates’ left-footed driven shot just went past the outstretched hand of Krystian Burzynski to level the game just before the break.

HT – Nantwich 1-1 Barwell

Barwell used their two only subs at half-time this afternoon, bringing on Owen Story and Cameron Gilchrist to replace goalscorer Tom Bates and Ryan Seal.

After kicking off the second half, Barwell came out looking hungrier for a chance to lead the game and put pressure on the home side from the get-go. A cross into the box was just wide of Burzynski’s post.

Midfielder Nigel Julien looked to be down but was fine to continue after a few minutes of treatment.

Nantwich put together a lovely attack as the ball dropped to Jordan Davies, but an over-hit shot saw the former Prestatyn attacker fire the ball over the bar.

Julien found his way through the Dabbers defence, and almost put the visitors in front, but his chipped shot was cleared off the line.



A free-kick was awarded for The Dabbers right on the edge of the penalty area, and it was Sean Cooke again, but it was perhaps a tad too close to go direct from the set-piece, and his driven shot was straight into the Barwell wall.

A chance appeared for Barwell as Townsend shoved off Mullarkey and laid it off to Ryan Robbins, whose shot was only kept out by a miraculous acrobatic save from Krystian Burzynski.

Nathan Cotterell was brought on by Dave Cooke, replacing Jordan Davies.

Four minutes later, the referee adjudged a foul near the corner flag, and sensing the danger from the set-piece, Clayton McDonald was brought on to help deal with the free-kick. The free-kick was fired towards Sam Hall, whose header only went as far as Declan Towers, his shot rebounded off the post and fell to an unfortunate McDonald who put through his own net.

With ten minutes to go, McDonald almost redeemed himself quickly, as a cross was floated into the box, and McDonald’s header cannoned off the bar. Ryan Brooke was then brought on by Dave Cooke, replacing Troy Bourne in an effort to level up the proceedings.



Harry Clayton came so close with two minutes to go in the game as a cross came in, and the striker’s shot went past Castle in the Barwell goal but a man at the back threw himself in front of the shot and cleared it off the line to a sigh of relief from the visitors’ bench.

The added time allocated was six minutes.

As the home side knocked on the visitors’ door, searching desperately for an equaliser, McDonald’s redemption arrived in the ninety-second minute of play, as he powerfully won the ball in an aerial challenge, his flick-on placed perfectly over the top for Harry Clayton to earn the home side a point with a deft finish to mark his 100th appearance in a green shirt. The goal was a fitting end to the striker’s man-of-the-match performance and ensured that the two sides shared the spoils as the full-time whistle blew.



FT – Nantwich 2-2 Barwell.


Nantwich: Krystian Burzynski, Troy Bourne (Ryan Brooke 80’), Caspar Hughes, Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey, Sam Hall (C), Sean Cooke, Kaiman Anderson (Clayton McDonald 74’), Harry Clayton, Matt Bell, Jordan Davies (Nathan Cotterell 70’)

Subs not used: Arnie Baxendale, Keaton Webster.

Barwell: Liam Castle, Jake Whitmore, Edward Nisevic, Craig Stanley, Liam Kay, Nigel Julien, Declan Towers, Ryan Seal (Owen Story 45’), Michael Townsend (C), Tom Bates (Cameron Gilchrist 45’), Ryan Robbins

Subs not used: Dale Belford, Ryan Baldwin
Attendance: 352
Man of the Match: Harry Clayton

Written by Ryan Batty

Photos courtesy of Mark Welton

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