Match Report: Kidsgrove Athletic 0-4 Nantwich Town

The Dabbers win 4-0 over Kidsgrove Athletic in their final Pre-Season friendly.


Nantwich Town wrapped up their preparations for the 2016/17 season with a comfortable 4-0 win over Kidsgrove Athletic on a warm afternoon in North Staffordshire. Nantwich made a number of changes as Phil Parkinson geared his team up for the new season. Dave Parton was away on holiday, so stand in keeper Danny Read was between the sticks. Danny had been a Dabber during the clubs FA Vase run back in 2006. Curtis Jones partnered Mat Bailey in defence, with White and Touray starting at full back. Sam Hall and Wayne Riley once again started in midfield, with a front 4 of Theo Stair, Ryan Jackson, Sean Cooke and the returning from holiday Josh Gordon. There were plenty of familiar names in the Kidsgrove team, with our stopper from last season, Krystian Burzynski starting in goal. Ex-Crewe Alex players Kevin Street and Dave Artell were in the squad, as was marquee centre forward signing Luke Keen, who finished last season as the NPL Division One South joint top scorer.

Both teams got the game started with a quick tempo, as they looked to press each other and get the ball moving quickly. Josh Gordon had the first chance of the game, as he shot well over from 25 yards. Sean Cooke then had the next chance as he shot straight at Burzynski from just outside the area. After 12 minutes, Cooke crossed for Jackson, but Lee Pickerill won the header and almost headed into his own goal, with the ball coming back off the bar. The ref had blown for a foul on the defender by Ryan Jackson however. Both teams were showing full commitment with the new season just a week away. Cooke was once again central to everything good the Dabbers were doing, as his through ball found Touray, but Ibou was called back for an offside.


The home side suffered a blow on 22 minutes when captain and experienced centre half Ryan Austin was forced off after rolling his ankle. He was replaced by Bradley Lindsey. The Dabbers continued to have the lions share of the territory as they looked for an opener. Kidsgrove showed they had some threat though as Luke Keen had a couple of efforts on goal, though neither really troubled Read. After half an hour, Josh Gordon had the best chance of the game as his free header from a corner was sent straight at Burzynski from 5 yards out. 10 minutes later and Jackson had a similar opening, but he couldn’t direct his header goal wards. If he had, he surely would have scored.

The first half looked destined to finish 0-0, but there was a moment of real controversy just before half time. A header from Kidsgrove was picked up by Burzynski, but the ref contested that he dropped it and picked it back up and blew for a free kick right on the edge of the box. The home team were furious and there seemed to be mass confusion over what the keeper had done wrong. Either way, Cooke stepped up and smashed the free kick straight at the wall. It rebounded to him and he tricked his way past a Kidsgrove defender, but was tripped just inside the box. It looked like a clear penalty, but it was salt in the wounds of a still angry home team. Cooke picked himself up and cooly fired home to give the Dabbers the lead.


Josh Gordon was replaced by Osebi Abadaki at half time and the Dabbers started the 2nd half brightly as they went in search of more goals. Ryan Jackson had 2 good chances to double the advantage, but he couldn’t connect properly on either of his attempts. 10 minutes into the 2nd half and Jackson was replaced by Jonny Kapend, with Ben Harrison also coming on for Mat Bailey 5 minutes later. Sean Cooke almost got on the end of some good attacking work, but he couldn’t get a shot away under pressure. On 62 minutes, the Dabbers got the goal they had been threatening to score. Osebi Abadaki forced his way into the penalty area and his cross found the onrushing Ibou Touray, who smashed home his 2nd in 3 games to give the away side some breathing room.

Following the goal, Cooke was brought off for Dave Walker as the experienced striker looked to get more minutes under his belt following his return from injury. Despite going 2 goals down, Kidsgrove weren’t going away, as Lindsey shot straight at Dean as the home side looked for a route back into the game. 2 more Dabbers changes followed, as trialist Glen Matthews came on for the once again impressive Touray and youth teamer Cal Jones came on for Sam Hall. The game then settled down as both sides adapted to the various changes and the conditions.

With just over 10 minutes to go, the Dabbers wrapped up victory with a 3rd. Jonny Kapend got into space on the right and his cross found Dave Walker, who slotted in to bag his first goal since returning to the Dabbers. Pickerill had a header hit the side netting as Kidsgrove looked for a way back into the game at the other end. Their best chance fell to Joe Woolley, but he could only send a well placed free kick over. With the game approaching the final stages, Abadaki, Matthews and Cal Jones all saw attempts go well wide. The Dabbers added gloss to the scoreline late on with a 4th. Good build up play from Abadaki, Stair and Kapend saw the latter once again supply Dave Walker, who fired under Burzynski to bag his 2nd. The ref drew the game to a close a few minutes later as the Dabbers rounded off their Pre-Season schedule with a win to make it 3 friendly victories in a row.


Kidsgrove Athletic: Krystian Burzynski, Ash Hodkinson, Lee Pickerll, Ryan Austin(c), Dave Artell, Dan Skelton, Marc Grocott, Tom Massion, Luke Kee, Ross Davidson, Joe Woolley

Subs: Taylor Atrell, Bradley Lindsey, Tyler Sims, Jordan Benton, Kevin Street

Nantwich Town: Danny Reed, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Mat Bailey, Sam Hall(c), Ryan Jackson, Wayne Riley, Theo Stair, Sean Cooke, Josh Gordon

Subs: Osebi Abadaki, Ben Harrison, Jonny Kapend, Glen Matthews, Dave Walker, Cal Jones



The Dabbers: Cooke(45, Pen), Touray(62), Walker(77, 87)

Attendance: 125

Next up for the Dabbers will be the start of the 2016/17 season! We are in action against Mickleover Sports at the Weaver Stadium on Sat 13th August, Kick Off 3pm. Entry prices are Adults £10, Concessions £7, Under 16s £3. We look forward to seeing you as we get our campaign underway!

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