By Steve Sharman:
Two goals from midfielder Sean Cooke made it four wins on the bounce for Nantwich Town after a hard fought 2-1 win away at Lancaster City on Tuesday night.
A first half free kick was followed by a fine curling finish from just inside the box in the second period with Mamadou Djabi scoring just before half time for the Dolly Blues.
Manager Dave Cooke made two changes to the side that beat Lancaster on Saturday as Nathan Cotterell came in for the injured Clayton McDonald, whilst Toby Mullarkey made his first appearance in three months in place of Matt Bell.
Cotterell was involved immediately as his jinking run down the left saw the winger cut in and square the ball to Cooke, but his effort from the edge of the box went wide of the post.
Cooke was involved heavily early on and he opened the scoring on eleven minutes as he curled a low free kick past Joshua Powell after Harry Clayton had been bundled over on the edge of the box.
The Dabbers were dominating proceedings with winger Joe Mwasile causing problems down the right as his mazy run saw him square the ball to Clayton inside the box but his goal bound effort was well blocked by the host’s defence.
Over the next 15 minutes the game struggled to burst into life as both sides exchanged possession as the home support were frustrated by their side’s lack of cutting edge.
However they got their break through, somewhat out of the blue as five minutes before the break, Myles Boney could only parry Paul Dugdale’s low drive to the feet of forward Djabi who fired the loose ball into the unguarded net.
Lancaster then felt they should have been awarded a penalty soon after as Tom Kilifin appeared to be brought down inside the box by Troy Bourne, but referee Richard Aspinall waved play on, as the game went into the break all level.
Just like the first half, the Dabbers started the second brightly and were rewarded with a second goal five minutes into the half as a well worked corner involving Caspar Hughes and Toby Mullarkey allowed Cooke to brilliantly curl an effort into the far corner, netting his fifth goal for the Dabbers in three games.
The visitors then nearly conceded a freak equaliser ten minutes later as Powell’s long kick bounced over the advancing Boney towards goal, but the Blackpool loanee made a fine recovery to push the ball away to safety.
City were then reduced to ten men midway through the half as defender Ricky Mercer was shown a straight red card by Aspinall after shoving Bourne in the face following a coming together in the Dabbers’ six yard box.
Despite going down to ten men, Lancaster continued to look for an equaliser and they went close as skipper Craig Carney fired a half volley from the edge of the box which went narrowly wide.
Craig Clark then fizzed a low cross across the face of goal late on for the hosts but this was as close as they came as the Dabbers saw out the five minutes of stoppage time and recorded a league double over their opponents.
Next up for the Dabbers is a local derby away in the league at Witton Albion on Saturday with a 3.00pm KO.
Lancaster City: Powell, Hudson, Dugdale, Steel, Clark, Mercer, Carney (c), Wills, Djabi, Kilifin (C. Bailey 78′), Jarvis (Akrigg 12′)
Subs not used: S. Bailey, Creech, Winder
Nantwich Town: Boney, Morgan, Wildin, Stair, Bourne, Mullarkey, Mwasile (Forbes 87′), Hughes (c), Clayton, Cooke, Cotterell (S. Jones 68′)
Subs not used: Phillips, Spiess (GK), Bell
Referee: Mr R Aspinall
Photo courtesy of Tim Bowker
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