Match Report: Matlock Town 0-4 Nantwich Town

It rains goals as the Dabbers beat Matlock Town 4-0 to win their first game of the season.


Nantwich Town recorded their first win of the 2016/17 season as they won 4-0 away at Matlock Town. Goals from Sean Cooke, Steve Jones(2) and Josh Gordon gave the Dabbers a commanding victory as they put the Gladiators to the sword. Cooke put the Dabbers ahead via a tap in and Jones scored the 2nd just before half time. The game was played in torrential rain throughout the majority of the 2nd half, but the Dabbers adapted well and ran in further goals via Jones and Gordon. Matlock captain Laurie Wilson was sent off to compound an afternoon of misery for the home side.

The Dabbers were initially going to be unchanged from the side that started against Ashton United, but Sam Hall was forced to withdraw after getting injured in the warm up. In his place came debutant Wayne Riley, who had missed the first 2 games of the season due to delays in receiving his international clearance. Mat Bailey took over as captain from Hall.


The Dabbers started strongly, with Theo Stair having a shot blocked inside the box in the first minute. Steve Jones went close a minute later, as his far post effort was well saved by Arran Jameson in the Matlock goal after good work on the left from Ibou Touray. Matlock had their first sight of goal after 6 minutes, with a ball from Newsham crossed to new signing Michael Williams. Williams could only slice well wide of goal though. At the other end, Sean Cooke hit a great cross into the box but Abadaki couldn’t quite reach it and it was cleared for a corner.

Matlock went close to opening the scoring on 14 minutes. A good move from them saw the ball fall to Wilson on the edge of the box and he hit a dipping volley that went just wide. Matlock then forced a corner as they started to apply some pressure on the Dabbers. Matt Bell tired an ambitious overhead kick which went over whilst Matlock had a couple of opportunities that went straight at Parton.


Slightly against the run of play, the Dabbers went in front. A long ball caused panic in the Matlock back line and Steve Jones pounced to go clear on goal. He unselfishly squared for a wide-open Sean Cooke to tap in. They hit the front just at the right time, as the home side had been growing into the game. Matlock attempted to hit back, but the Dabbers back line was working hard to restrict them to speculative half chances. Efforts from Wiley and Cribley went well wide as Matlock looked for an equaliser. They did threaten in the 37th minute, as they got in down the left and put a dangerous looking cross  into the area looking for Williams. Ben Harrison showed great awareness to clear the ball from danger.

3 minutes before half time and the Dabbers extended their lead, once again scoring at the right time. Cooke initially saw a deflected effort scrambled away for a corner by Jameson. From the corner, the ball fell to Stair on the edge of the box and he whipped a cross into the far post. Harrison was wide open to head back into the 6 yard box and Steve Jones pounced under the crossbar to force home from a yard out after the keeper had parried the ball into his path. After missing the plethora of chances against Ashton United in midweek, the Dabbers had shown their clinical edge in the first half, taking their opportunities when they came along.


The 2nd half got underway as the heavens opened. Abadaki and Jones both almost got in on goal, but the offside flag and a last ditch challenge denied them respectively. The Dabbers weren’t to be denied for long though, as 8 minutes into the 2nd half they had a 3rd. A cross into the Matlock box was misjudged by Jameson, who could only palm it to the waiting Jones. He smashed the ball in, giving the Dabbers a commanding lead and also gave him his 3rd in 2 games. It wasn’t without cost though, as Jones was caught as he shot. He was forced to withdraw, with another debutant in Ryan Jackson coming on in his place. The rain then really started to come down, as both sides tried to adapt to the horrible conditions. Just after the hour mark, Abadaki was taken off, with Josh Gordon replacing him. Wiley shot straight at Parton whilst Stair was subbed for Osebi Abadaki. The rain was really affecting the game as both teams tried to play in the worsening weather. To Matlock’s credit, the pitch held up superbly, absorbing a massive amount of water.

On 70 minutes, there was real controversy. Ryan Jackson stuck his leg out and clipped Wilson, which angered the Matlock captain. Both players went head to head, but Wilson reacted by putting his hand in Jackson’s face. That drew an angry crowd of players. Once the situation had been diffused, the ref sent Wilson off and booked Jackson, which seemed like the correct call on both parties.


Despite going down to 10 men, Matlock weren’t giving up and they came close to getting a goal back. First a cross went right through the Dabbers 6 yard box, then Parton had to make a smart save down to his right. Matt Bell then had a shot deflected at the other end, going out for a corner. With 12 minutes to go, the Dabbers added gloss to the scoreline with a 4th. Ryan Jackson skipped past his man on the right and fed Gordon. Gordon then hit a fierce effort in at the near post and it squirmed under Jameson to give Josh his first goal of the season.

The conditions finally eased up with about 10 minutes to go after almost constant torrential rain, but the game was finished as a contest. There were a few half chances for both sides as the game ticked down, but the Dabbers never looked in any real danger. The pitch was now heavy with water, which turned the game into a comedy of errors at times. Osebi Abadaki slid in the corner, which sent a huge plume of water flying. Ryan Jackson then tried to run with the ball but it held up in a puddle near the half way line. The opposition player who tried to intercept it then made the same mistake!

With virtually the last kick of the game, Matlock almost had a consolation. Cribley hit an effort on goal from the halfway line, as he spotted Parton off his line. It hit the post, rebounded out, hit Parton and rolled just wide for a corner. Luck was on the keepers side and it meant he was able to record his first clean sheet of his Dabbers career, as the team picked up a decisive win to give them their first 3 points of the season.

Matlock Town: Arran Jameson, Liam Marsden, Dwayne Wiley, Laurie Wilson(c), Adam Yates, Nico de Girolamo, Jake Green, Ted Cribley, Marc Newsham, Michael Williams, Niall McManus

Subs: Ryan King, Anthony Giffiths-Junior, Andy Todd, Ben Partridge, Nicky Travis

Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ben Harrison, Mat Bailey(c), Ibou Touray, Wayne Riley, Matt Bell, Sean Cooke, Steve Jones, Theo Stair, Godwin Abadaki

Subs: Osebi Abadaki, Ryan Jackson, Dave Walker, Josh Gordon



Dabbers: Sean Cooke(24), Steve Jones(42, 53), Josh Gordon(78)

Attendance: 297

We are back in action on Tuesday 23rd August as we return to the Weaver Stadium to play Halesowen Town. The kick off is 7:45pm and we look forward to seeing you all there.

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