By Steve Sharman:
A ninetieth minute penalty from Josh Hancock ensured Nantwich Town took a point from Leicestershire after drawing 1-1 at Barwell.
Ben Harrison’s late cross was handled by Niall Rowe leaving Hancock the opportunity the dispatch the spot kick and keep the Dabbers unbeaten run which now stretches to ten games.
Boss Phil Parkinson made four changes from Tuesday’s victory with Dave Walker, Osebi Abadaki, Tim Sanders and Joel Stair in for Ibou Touray, Matt Bell, Sean Cooke and Ryan Brooke.
The game started slowly with both teams happy to exchange possession early on with neither side creating any clear cut opportunities.
But in the twelfth minute Osebi Abadaki found time and space inside the Barwell box but could only shoot straight at keeper Max Smith-Varnam.
Two minutes later, Sanders, who was making his first start for the club, played in Theo Stair whose curling effort on goal was palmed away by Smith-Varnam.
Up the other end Dave Parton had to be alert as he saved well from Montel Gibson who had been played in on goal with only the keeper to beat.
But the chances continued to be created by the Dabbers as a deflected ball fell into the path of Wayne Riley, with the midfielder’s powerful shot well saved by Smith-Varnam.
Ten minutes later Abadaki was involved once more as his close range shot smacked the post and flew out for a goal kick as Nantwich piled the pressure on their opponents.
But despite creating the chances, Nantwich found themselves a goal down in the 39th minute as Brady Hickey finished from close range after the ball had fallen kindly to the Barwell skipper.
The second half was one that started in a frustrating manner for the Dabbers as they looked for an equaliser and a way back in the game.
Parkinson introduced Josh Hancock into the fray and almost had an instant impact as his through ball found Abadaki whose shot found the net, but the winger was ruled to be offside.
Ten minutes later, the Dabbers felt they should have had a penalty as Harrison’s goal bound header stuck a Barwell defender’s arm on the line but referee Simon Barrow wasn’t interested in awarding a spot kick.
Barrow was frustrating both sides with several decisions as Wayne Riley and Ryan Brooke were both shown yellow cards after showing their unhappiness at the referee.
But having been earlier denied a penalty for handball, the Dabbers were awarded a spot kick in the last minute of time as Niall Rowe blocked Harrison’s cross from the left with his hands.
With usual penalty take Sean Cooke rested, up stepped Josh Hancock who confidently put the penalty away in the corner to square the game up.
Nantwich did look for a winner deep into stoppage time but Barwell cleared any potential danger away after Theo Stair had weaved into the box and fired a dangerous looking ball across.
Next up for the Dabbers is a home game this Tuesday against Rushall Olympic with a 7.45pm KO.
Barwell: Smith-Varnam, Wheatley, Nisevic (Kay 46′) , Towers, Rowe, Julien (Storey 83′), Gibson, Stanley, Taylor, Hickey, Martin (Morris 73′)
Subs not used: Ballinger, Castle.
Nantwich Town: Parton, J. Stair (Touray 48), White, Curtis Jones, Harrison, Riley, T. Stair, Hall, Walker (Brooke 67′), Sanders (Hancock 50), O. Abadaki.
Subs not used: Bell, Cooke.
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