Jack Jones reports on the Dabbers 3-1 win away at Marine.
Nantwich Town bounced back from the disappointment of Saturday in the best possible way as they saw off Marine on a wet and windy night on Merseyside. A trio of Josh Hancock strikes from a trio of Sean Cooke assists was the storyline as the Dabbers extended their unbeaten league run to 7 games, preserved their unbeaten start to the season away from home and ended Marine’s unbeaten start to the season in the league at home at the same time
The Dabbers went ahead from the spot in awful conditions after 20 minutes, with Cooke being felled in the box and Hancock burying the penalty. Marine levelled the game up with their own penalty from Kurt Sherlock after 29 minutes and that’s how the score stayed for the rest of the first half. The Dabbers took over in the 2nd half though, with 2 further strikes from Josh Hancock giving the away side a lead they never looked like relinquishing. They held on to record their 5th win of the season in the league.
The Dabbers made just one change from the side that played in the FA Cup against Stourbridge, Dave Walker coming in for Wayne Riley. Marine started danger men Kurt Sherlock and Danny Mitchley upfront, whilst winger Joe Mwasile had to make do with a spot on the bench.
The game kicked on in swirling wind and rain and it was a quiet start in the opening exchanges. The first chance came on 10 minutes as Cooke smashed a free kick narrowly over the bar. The Dabbers should have been ahead on 18 minutes when a great cross from Ryan Brooke was headed straight at the keeper by Dave Walker from 6 yards out.
2 minutes later though and the Dabbers had the breakthrough their play deserved. Neat footwork from Cooke saw him leave several Marine players in his wake and he advanced on goal. Marine keeper Dean Porter came out to meet him and Cooke rounded the keeper. The goalie clipped Sean though and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Josh Hancock once again resumed spot kick duty and he smashed the penalty straight down the middle, making it 3 penalties from 3 for the midfielder.
Cooke was in the thick of the action and he saw a shot saved after more good football on the edge of the box. Marine then hit back though with a penalty of their own out of the blue. A long ball over the top sent Sherlock away on goal. Ben Harrison recovered well and managed to force him away from goal, but as he tried to win the ball back, he felled the striker and the referee once again pointed to the spot. Sherlock picked himself up and sent Parton the wrong way to bring the scores level after 30 minutes.
Marine had their tails up, with Warren Bellew shooting just wide before Parton had to make a fingertip save to deny Sherlock a 2nd. Hancock and Cooke both had efforts test the goalkeeper before the half was out. In truth though, there was little goalmouth action as the half wound to a close with both sides level.
Cooke was quick to test Porter in the 2nd half, shooting just over 2 minutes into the half. The Dabbers were on top in the early stages and less than 10 minutes in, had a 2nd goal. A corner was clipped into the near post by Cooke and the quick thinking Hancock got ahead of the keeper and headed towards goal. The ball was hacked away, but the linesman deemed that the ball had crossed the line. There seemed few protests from the home side as Hancock celebrated his and the teams 2nd of the game, barely 10 minutes into the 2nd half.
Marine immediately hit back and forced a number of corners and free kicks which the Dabbers had to defend. Parton once again denied Sherlock, tipping over a fizzing free kick. Nantwich absorbed the pressure, restricting Marine to very few clear sights of goal.
With just over 20 minutes to go, the Dabbers extended their lead with a beautifully taken goal. Cooke picked up the ball 40 yards from goal and spotted the run of Hancock into the box. He lifted the ball perfectly to Josh, who cleverly lobbed the ball first time over the stranded Porter and into the net. It was a great move and well finished off to give Hancock his hat trick.
Despite going 2 goals up, the Dabbers kept pushing for another, with Ibou Touray forcing a save out of Porter with a shot from distance. Ryan Brooke then made a smart turn and shot just over. Hancock almost had a fourth when a long ball caused confusion between the Marine defence and the goalkeeper. He knocked the ball past the keeper, but Marine recovered before Josh could roll the ball into an empty net.
The Dabbers made changes, with Osebi Abadaki and Tim Sanders coming on for Dave Walker and Sam Hall. They gave the side much needed fresh legs and allowed them to counter attack. Marine struggled to create any chances of note despite their pressure, with a routine Parton save from Obi Anoruo the only noteworthy attempt they could muster. The Dabbers closed the game out with the minimal amount of fuss, giving them their 5th win of the season in the league, a result that was enough to see them climb to 12th and maintain their unbeaten away record.
Marine: Dean Porter, Lewis Field, Adam Hughes, Josh Brizell(c), Ryan O’Hare, Liam Goulding, Michael Monaghan, Alan Burton, Danny Mitchley, Kurt Sherlock, Warren Bellew
Subs: Obi Anoruo, Joe Mwasile, Sean Hessey, Karl Clair, Billy Smart
Goalscorer: Sherlock, 29(p)
Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Ben Harrison, Matt Bell, Josh Hancock, Sam Hall(c)(Tim Sanders, 78), Dave Walker(Osebi Abadaki, 66), Sean Cooke, Ryan Brooke
Subs not used: Wayne Riley, Theo Stair, Joel Stair
Goalscorer: Josh Hancock, 21(p), 54, 69
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