By Ryan Batty:
After the conclusion of a superb regular season, Nantwich Town turn their attention to their second play-off semi-final in three seasons as they make the short trip up the M6 to take on arch-rivals Warrington Town in a mouth-watering Cheshire derby, with entire seasons at stake. The Dabbers finished the season with a defeat to Basford United, while the Yellows concluded their campaign with a draw at Buxton.
Name: Warrington Town
Nickname: The Yellows
Manager: Paul Carden
Ground: Cantilever Park
Match: Warrington Town vs Nantwich Town
Competition: Evo-Stik Premier Division Play-Off Semi-Final
Stadium: Cantilever Park
Address: Common Lane, Warrington, WA4 2RS
Referee: Mr Greg Rollason (Staffordshire)
The Play-Off Structure:
Play-Off Semi-Final – Tuesday 30th April
South Shields (2nd) vs Buxton (5th)
Warrington Town (3rd) vs Nantwich Town (4th)
Play-Off Final – Saturday 4th May
Winner of Semi-Final 1 vs Winner of Semi-Final 2
Home team is higher-ranked of the winners
Super Play-Off Final – Saturday 11th May
Winner of Evo-Stik Premier Division Play-Off Final vs Winner of Evo-Stik Premier Division Central League Play-Off Final
Home team is play-off winner with the higher points-per-game ratio
The two sides last met at Cantilever Park in February, where a late equaliser from Tony Gray condemned the Dabbers to share the spoils with the Wire. Nantwich had taken the lead after eight minutes through Sean Cooke’s stunning free-kick, before Cooke missed from the penalty spot. Defender Mark Roberts equalised for the Wire, though Danny Glover converted a penalty to put the men in green back into the lead.
Glover added his second soon after, after a great finish from close-range. Josh Amis gave the Yellows a way back into the game on the brink of half-time, but some stoic Nantwich defending had many believing that the Dabbers would be leaving with all three points, only to be denied by the latest of equalisers saw both sides share the points on an overcast afternoon at Cantilever Park.
The two sides’ previous meeting resulted in a 2-1 victory to the Dabbers in October, as goals from Sean Cooke and Joe Mwasile saw Dave Cooke’s side gain all three points.
The Last Five
|Warrington 3-3 Nantwich||23/02/19||Cooke 8′, Glover 30′ (Pen), 34′|
|Nantwich 2-1 Warrington||30/10/18||Cooke 5′, Mwasile 38′|
|Warrington 0-0 Nantwich||10/04/18||N/A|
|Nantwich 2-1 Warrington||07/04/18||Mullarkey 40′, Clayton 45′ (Pen)|
|Nantwich 4-1 Warrington||28/02/17||Bell 6′, Johnston 28′, White 29′, Brooke 90′ (Pen)|
Star Man: Jack Dunn (Forward)
Originally starting his career with Liverpool, Dunn played for seven years at Anfield, spending time on loan at Cheltenham, Burton Albion, Morecambe and Tranmere Rovers before moving to Prenton Park permanently. He spent just one campaign with Tranmere before joining the Yellows. He has also made appearances for England at U17, U18 and U19 levels. He can play on the wings, up front and behind the striker.
Tale of the Tape:
|WWWDD||Form (Last Five)||WLWLL|
|Josh Amis (12)||Top Scorer||Sean Cooke (12)|
|McMillan, Beeley, Hughes, Benjamin, Roberts, McCarten, Vassallo, Evans, McCarthy, Dixon, Cusani||Last XI||Hawkins, Morgan, Banres, Stair, Davis, Hughes, Bourne, Bell, Glover, Cooke, Saunders|
From the Dugout:
Manager Dave Cooke has spoken ahead of Tuesday’s play-off semi-final
“It’s a massive game for the club. We have talked about the play-offs for a long time because we have been up there all season. But you could get there on a Tuesday night and if you’re not right or you don’t have a little bit of luck or you don’t play well then all that talk for nine months is over in 90 minutes. Focus is now on preparing the lads for the game and of course we will give it our best shot.”
You can read the interview with the manager in full here.
Dabbers Connection: Joe Mwasile (Winger)
Joe joined Warrington ahead of the 2017-18 season following a good campaign over spells with Marine and the Dabbers. He spent two months at Cantilever Park before he was released and subsequently made his return to the Weaver Stadium. Joe showed Yellows manager Paul Carden what he was missing earlier in the campaign, when he netted a superb outside-the-boot effort against Warrington in a 2-1 victory at the Weaver Stadium, biting the hand that used to feed him.
From the Dressing Room:
Midfielder Matt Bell has also spoken to nantwichtownfc.co.uk ahead of this Tuesday’s play-off semi-final.
“This will be the fourth time that I have been involved in play off games so I have a lot of experience for these types of games. It comes down to small margins and it is imperative that everyone is performing to the standards that have been set throughout the season. No game is the same so as a team we have to prepare in correct way and be both physically and mentally ready.”
You can read more from Matt here.
This Week’s Play-Off Fixtures:
Evo-Stik Premier Division
Tuesday 30th April
South Shields vs Buxton
Warrington Town vs Nantwich Town
Evo-Stik Southern League Central Division
Wednesday 1st May
Kings Lynn Town vs Stratford Town
Stourbridge vs Alvechurch
Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division
Wednesday 1st May
Metropolitan Police vs Salisbury
Taunton Town vs Poole Town
The Bostik League Premier Division
Thursday 2nd May
Carshalton Town vs Merstham
Haringey Borough vs Tonbridge Angels
All kick-offs 7.45pm
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