By Steve Sharman:
Nantwich Town progressed to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup after a 3-2 victory away at Marine on Tuesday night.
Theo Stair’s second half header ensured progression in the competition after a pulsating first half which saw four goals between the sides courtesy of Danny Mitchley (2), Liam Goulding (OG) and Sean Cooke.
Having ended all level on Saturday, Phil Parkinson started the game with one change as Theo Stair replaced Wayne Riley, with Josh Hancock named on the bench having served his recent suspension.
The Dabbers got off to a flying start as Osebi Abadaki found himself through on goal but despite his effort missing the target, Marine defender Liam Goulding had a moment to forget as he bundled the loose ball over the line and into the net.
But the lead didn’t last long as five minutes later Danny Mitchley, who missed the game on Saturday, directed a wide free kick into the net with his head as the ball looped over Dave Parton to square the game up.
Marine then took the lead on 13 minutes as Ibou Touray was adjudged to have brought down Lewis Field in the box, leaving Mitchley with the task of firing the penalty into the bottom corner.
Having got off to a flying start, the game calmed down although Parton was required to make a superb fingertip save to deny Warren Bellew’s long range effort.
However the Dabbers began to find their way back into the game as Andy White’s goal bound shot was blocked by a Marine defender with the effort heading for the corner of the net.
Ryan Brooke then went close as he cut in from the left and bent his shot narrowly wide of goal with Marine keeper Calvin Hare happy to see the ball go past the post.
Three minutes later the Dabbers thought they had equalised as Ben Harrison bundled the ball into the net from close range after Curtis Jones’ header had found the defender via Hare and the post.
But celebrations were cut short as the linesman had his flag raised although it wasn’t clear which of the two the decision was against.
However moments before the half time break the Dabbers were all level as great play down the left from Ryan Brooke allowed the forward to lay the ball on a plate for Sean Cooke who made no mistake from ten yards, firing his shot into the far corner.
After a entertaining first period, the second half proved to be one of few chances as both sides searched for a third goal.
Marine’s Josh Brizell lashed wide from the edge of the box after the ball fell kindly to him before Kurt Sherlock’s cross from the left seemed to graze the crossbar.
A third goal did come though on the hour mark for the Dabbers as a mix up between Liam Goulding and Calvin Hare saw the ball fall kindly to Stair in front of goal, and the forward made no mistake in heading into the net from close range.
Having gone behind, Marine were throwing everything at the cause and saw a low cross from the left missed by everyone in the six yard box before Curtis Jones had to be at his best as he cleared the ball away with Sherlock lurking with intent.
But the Dabbers backline stood firm in the final 15 minutes with Parton able to claim a number of long balls and crosses in his box as time began to run out for the hosts.
Cooke then went close to adding a break away goal for the visitors deep into stoppage time as his attempted lob from 40 yards was comfortably claimed by Hare.
However after five minutes of added time the referee ended the game much to the delight of the Dabbers team who will now travel to Halesowen Town on Saturday 1st October in the third qualifying round.
Marine: Hare, Field, Short, Goulding, Bellew, Threlfall (Willis 20′), Davies (Hughes 73′), Brizell, Mitchley, Sherlock, Mwasile (Anoruo 85′).
Subs not used: Smart, Foley, Whyte, Hessey.
Nantwich Town: Parton, White, Touray, C. Jones, Harrison, Bell, Stair (S. Jones 71), Hall, Brooke (Gordon 59′), Cooke, O. Abadaki (G Abadaki 90).
Subs not used: Hancock, Walker, Riley.
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