By Ryan Batty:
A first half goal from Clayton McDonald was enough to give Nantwich Town all three points as they defeated Whitby on a chilly afternoon at The Weaver Stadium.
The Dabbers took the lead after four minutes as they won a free-kick on the left side of the Whitby half. Matt Bell lifted it into the area, and McDonald rose to the ball, powerfully heading the ball past Ryan Whitley in the Whitby goal.
Whitby had chances to equalise, but Nantwich’s young side held firm to deny the Seasiders a point.
Nantwich were without Sean Cooke and Toby Mullarkey, who were both sidelined with injury, with Clayton McDonald drafted in and captain Sam Hall returning following suspension.
The Dabbers started well, and could have gone ahead after two minutes. An early free-kick awarded following Harry Clayton being brought down just inside the Whitby half was floated towards the back post, but Joel Stair’s flicked header was off the mark.
Just two minutes later, Nantwich had another free-kick as a handball drew a set-piece, on the edge of the final third. Bell floated the ball into the Whitby box looking for McDonald, who excellently rose to the ball, and his bullet header left Whitley with no chance.
Kieran Weledji almost gave the visitors an immediate reply to going behind but the forward’s effort was tame and a comfortable save for Will Jaaskelainen.
Whitby were searching for a chance to get back into the game and looked pretty dangerous on the break, yet the partnership of Stair and McDonald dealt with the quick attacks well.
The next twenty minutes went largely without real chances, though, moments before the half-hour mark, Sam Hall spotted Whitley off his line on a free-kick and almost dipped the ball over the head of the Whitby ‘keeper, but it was inches high of the crossbar.
Whitby had a few chances after the goal, none of which were clearer than a penalty in the thirty-third minute. Joe Mwasile was adjudged to have brought down Danny McWilliams on the edge of the Nantwich area, and despite displeasure from the home support, the referee pointed to the spot.
However, Jaaskelainen guessed right and saved his second penalty of the season as Matthew Tymon’s weak hit came off the legs of the Nantwich ‘keeper.
Following this, there was little in terms of chances in the first half, and the two sides went into the break with Nantwich leading 1-0.
The visitors tried to address the situation by making a double change at the break as Andy Monkhouse and Junior Mondal replaced Niall McGoldrick and Connor Smith.
The first chance of the second half came for the visitors, as five minutes in, Kieran Weledji found space on the right-hand side, and as he cut inside of Stair, he struck a ball towards goal that was expertly turned around the post by Jaaskelainen.
Weledji had another chance before the hour mark as he scuffed a shot towards the bottom-left corner but McDonald cleared in front of his keeper.
Nantwich made their one and only change after fifty-seven minutes, as Curtis Strong replaced David Forbes.
The second half was mainly played in midfield, and long spells of possession from Whitby saw them come close to forming breakthrough chances. However, Nantwich’s defence was able to stop the attacks that were formed.
With nineteen minutes to go, the visitors made their final change as James Risbrough replaced Kieran Weledji.
Strong, who was signed from Tamworth this week looked eager to impress and his right footed cross found Bell at the back post but the midfielder was unable to convert.
Whitby had one last chance for an equaliser, but Luke Bythway’s header bounced across the face of goal and wide as the Dabbers saw out the remaining stoppage time to claim their third win in a week.
The Dabbers are back in action next Saturday as they host Shaw Lane at the Weaver with a 3pm KO.
Nantwich: Jaaskelainen, Bourne, Wildin, Stair, McDonald, Hall (C), Hughes, Bell, Clayton, Forbes (Strong 57’), Mwasile
Subs not used: Morgan, S. Jones, Griggs, Burzynski
Whitby: Whitley, Martin, McWilliams, Bythway, McGoldrick (Monkhouse 45’), May, Snaith (C), Gell, Weledji (Risbrough 71’), Tymon, Smith (Mondal 45’)
Subs not used: Fryatt, Dixon
Ref: Mr B Atkinson
All photos courtesy of Jonathan White.« Back to all news