Nantwich Town came from behind to record a superb 2-1 win over fellow promotion rivals Hednesford Town at Keys Park. They had fallen behind early to a goal from Danny Glover, who finished clinically with just 2 minutes on the clock.
They recovered well though and deservedly equalised through Tom Peers, who bagged his 2nd for the club with a well taken finish. The 1st half was pretty even, but in the 2nd half the Dabbers turned up the pressure and had several chances to score, with Matt Bell coming the closest with a shot that hit the bar.
They eventually went ahead as a cross from debutant John Johnston was turned into his own net by Hednesford full back Kyle Haynes. The Dabbers didn’t let up though and had numerous excellent chances to make the scoreline more comprehensive. Mwasile, Bell, Peers and Johnston all had opportunities that didn’t go in. In the end, 2 goals were enough to secure an excellent win and give the Dabbers their 10th league victory on the road this season.
Phil Parkinson made just 2 changes from the side that started against Corby Town in their last outing. New signing Johnston, who signed on loan from Salford City on Thursday, was handed his debut. Ibou Touray returned to the starting XI as Joel Stair made way.
Osebi Abadaki recovered from injury to be named on the bench along with Steve Jones and Ryan Brooke. Hednesford named former Dabbers striker Vinny Mukendi on the bench as they looked to build on their back to back wins.
The game got off to a frantic start, as Johnston made an impact inside 60 seconds, beating his man down the right and squaring the ball to Mwasile in the 6 yard box. Mwasile couldn’t quite turn the ball home and the ball eventually was cleared.
After going close to taking the lead, the Dabbers fell behind a minute later. The ball was given away inside their own half and Hednesford broke with numbers. The ball was played to Danny Glover, who cut inside and buried the ball past Gyollai.
The Dabbers looked to respond and Bell had a partially blocked shot which Hednesford keeper Dan Crane was easily able to gather. From a Dabbers corner, the ball pin balled around the box but before Crane was again able to smother the ball. At the other end, Tony Clarke had a looping shot which was straight at Gyollai.
Johnston was causing problems down the right and he showed good skill to beat his man to the byline, but he couldn’t get a cross away before the ball went out of play. From the resulting goal kick though, the ball was skewed to Peers, who showed a burst of speed to beat the Hednesford defenders and he calmly finished past Crane to draw the Dabbers level.
The Dabbers were looking a threat every time they went forward as they looked to put some attacking moves together on a tricky surface. The chances became fewer and further between, but the tempo of the game remained fast as both teams searched for the 2nd goal.
From a ball into the Hednesford box, it fell to Peers, but his shot was blocked for a corner. Johnston then had an attempt which was again comfortable for Crane. Both teams continued to battle, but the chances were scarce.
Right before half time, the Dabbers should have gone in ahead. A mistake by Nat Brown allowed Peers to get in behind, but his square ball to Mwasile was just out of reach. The ball eventually fell to Johnston, who skewed his effort high and into the arms of Crane. The sides went in level after an entertaining first half.
The Dabbers came out for the 2nd half and immediately went on the offensive. They forced 2 early corners before Mwasile shot narrowly wide via a deflection. Curtis Jones headed just over and Matt Bell rattled the bar with a curling effort before Johnston fired the rebound over.
The 2nd goal was coming and it eventually did 10 minutes into the 2nd half. Johnson, who had been threatening all game, got in down the right and crossed into the 6 yard box. The ball was turned into his own goal by Kyle Haynes, with Mwasile lurking behind him. The presence and threat of Mwasile might well have forced the mistake and it put the Dabbers in front.
The hosts made 2 quick subs, bringing on Lewis Wright and Mukendi for George Washbourne and David McDermott. The Dabbers didn’t let up though as they sought a third to give them some breathing room. Johnston got in behind Callum Roberts, but his shot couldn’t beat Crane.
From another ball down the wing, Roberts had to drag back Johnston and went into the book. The chances continued to come and Peers almost had a 2nd as he beat the offside trap and advanced on goal. But with just the keeper to beat, his attempt to go round Crane was foiled by the keeper and the chance went begging.
The Dabbers were dominant, but Hednesford suddenly forced some pressure and Mukendi planted a header wide from a corner. However, it was as close as the home side were to come to an equaliser. The Dabbers went up the other end, with Mwasile beating 2 men easily and forcing a superb reflex save from Crane.
Ben Harrison was next to test the keeper, as he curled an effort on goal which was tipped round the post for yet another corner. Another attack followed, with Mwasile setting up Bell. He looked to have the defence beat with a short range shot, but a last ditch block saw the ball deflect narrowly wide. With just over 10 minutes to go, goalscorer Peers made way for Ryan Brooke.
2 minutes later, Johnston was in behind once more, but he shot wide under pressure from Roberts. Hednesford made their final sub, as fan favourite Marvin Robinson came on for Glover, to a warm reception. Lewis Wright was next into the book as he pulled back Touray. Parky made 2 more changes, as Mwasile and Johnston, who had both been excellent, were withdrawn for Steve Jones and Abadaki.
Jones’ first involvement was beat 2 men and bear down on goal, but Crane smothered the ball before he could get a shot away. Bell was then fouled on the edge of the box and Jones curled over the bar. The Dabbers remained comfortably on top all the way to the full time whistle, as they registered a huge 3 points to move up to 3rd in the table.
Hednesford Town: Dan Crane, Kyle Haynes, Callum Roberts, Tom Thorley(c), Nat Brown, Dan Brenan, George Washbourne(Lewis Wright, 55), Stuart McNaught, Danny Glover(Marvin Robinson, 81), Tony Clarke, David McDermott(Vinny Mukendi, 60)
Unused subs: Lloyd Ransome, Remeao Hutton
Bookings: Roberts, Wright
Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Ben Harrison, Curtis Jones, Sam Hall(c), John Johnston, Wayne Riley, Tom Peers, Matt Bell, Joe Mwasile
Unused subs: Steve Jones, Osebi Abadaki, Joel Stair, Joe Howell, Ryan Brooke
Goalscorers: Peers(14), Own Goal(55)
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