By James Brown:
Nantwich Town extended their unbeaten run to nine games despite being held to a goalless draw by Workington in a tight encounter at the Weaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In an even first half with limited chances created for either side, Craig Lindfield went close for the Dabbers, forcing keeper Aaron Taylor into a smart stop before Toby Mullarkey had an effort cleared off the line. Fabian Spiess was not really tested in the Nantwich goal however the visitors enjoyed some good spells of possession.
Despite the second half being much more entertaining with both sides going all guns blazing in search of a victory, neither could find a breakthrough. Chances fell to the likes of Sean Cooke and Joe Mwasile for the Dabbers who also had a couple of penalty shouts waved away, while Workington also provided a threat on the counter, however, defences ruled the day as both sides had to settle for a point apiece.
Nantwich will look to go ten unbeaten in the Evo-Stik Premier Division on Tuesday evening when Marine are the opposition away from home (7.45pm kick-off).
On a sunny day in South Cheshire, it was Workington who made an impressive start, having all of the early possession, however, the Dabbers back line dealt with it well. It wasn’t until the 13th minute before Nantwich had a sight of Aaron Taylor’s goal when Craig Lindfield’s shot was easily saved.
The Dabbers were lucky to escape without conceding on 18 minutes, when a free-kick from Workington captain Gari Rowntree towards the far post was headed backward by Louis Barnes past the hands of Fabian Spiess. Luckily for the Dabbers, however, it was eventually cleared. What turned out to be the best chance of the first half followed three minutes later as Nantwich went so close to taking a 1-0 lead. Joel Stair and Callum Saunders both had efforts cleared off the line from a Barnes free-kick before Joe Mwasile ultimately fired over the bar.
As the cagey first half continued, Sean Cooke went close on the half-hour mark with a curling free-kick which almost snuck into the bottom corner, however, Taylor got down well to keep it out. A nervy few moments followed for the Dabbers as a cross into the box was almost turned in by Toby Mullarkey for an own goal but luckily it went out for a corner.
Nantwich manager Dave Cooke didn’t seem to be impressed with his side’s first-half performance as he brought on Troy Bourne for Matt Bell to begin the second 45. It was Workington who had the first effort on goal when a well-struck Conor Tinnion effort was saved well by Spiess.
Some superb work from Barnes on the left who put it through a defender’s legs almost created the opening goal as he found Cooke on the edge of the box whose effort was heading for the top corner, however, a slight deflection took it wide. A big talking point followed close to the hour mark when Saunders was hauled down in the Workington box but the referee waved away any penalty claims before Lindfield’s cross looked to be handballed by the visitors however again, nothing was given.
With Malkin replacing Saunders after 66 minutes, the Dabbers were getting some good movement on the right as the substitute, Mwasile and Cooke all linked up but their efforts were stopped by some last-ditch Workington defending. The Nantwich supporters thought the deadlock had been broken with 20 minutes to go when Lindfield turned home a Jamie Morgan cross, however, the forward was judged to be offside.
Following a challenge from Cooke which caught defender Dan Wordsworth, Workington keeper Taylor started a small scrap between both sets of players after raising his hands towards the face of the Nantwich midfielder however he and Cooke were both shown yellow cards. Somehow the game remained scoreless heading into the final ten minutes after Mwasile came close as well as Lindfield from close range.
Aaron Knight replaced Lindfield and the winger was straight into the thick of the action as the Dabbers poured forward. Mwasile’s fantastic run saw him fire on target which Taylor parried into the feet of the substitute however his touch somehow didn’t nestle into the goal. Cooke and Mullarkey were both denied by Workington blocks and Taylor saves inside the final couple of minutes before substitute Kieran Maguire’s chance to steal the points for the visitors was dragged wide as the game ended goalless.
Nantwich Town: Fabian Spiess, Jamie Morgan, Louis Barnes, Joel Stair (c), Toby Mullarkey, Matt Bell (Troy Bourne 46’), Joe Mwasile, James Lawrie, Callum Saunders (Joe Malkin 66’), Sean Cooke, Craig Lindfield (Aaron Knight 77’)
Subs not used: Jake Phillips, James Hawkins (GK)
Workington AFC: Aaron Taylor, Matthew Douglas, Gari Rowntree (c), Daniel Wordsworth, Kyle May, Jamie Mellen, Sam Joel (Kieran Maguire 81’), Jordan Holt (Bradley Hubbold 90’), Jason Walker, Scott Allison, Conor Tinnion
Subs not used: Lewis Casson (GK), Niall Cowperthwaite, Sheldon Mossop
Referee: Mr D Croft
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