Jack Jones reports on the Dabbers 2-0 win over the Mintcakes in the FA Trophy.
Phil Parkinson and the management team celebrated their 100th game in charge of Nantwich Town by guiding the team to a 2-0 win over Kendal Town. It meant the Dabbers advanced to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy and extended their winning run to 7 games in all competitions.
The home side dominated the game, with the chances coming thick and fast throughout the contest. Ryan Brooke could have scored a hat trick in the first half alone, whilst Sean Cooke, Josh Hancock and Osebi Abadaki all went close. In the 2nd half, the chances continued to come and go, with Brooke being at the forefront of the opportunities.
The Dabbers patience finally paid off with 10 minutes to go, as Cooke pounced on a mistake in the Kendal back line and fed Hancock, who broke the deadlock with a low finish. 2 minutes later and an own goal put the game to bed, with the Dabbers seeing the game out comfortably to record win number 51 for Phil Parkinson in his and the managements 100th game in charge.
Parky named an unchanged team from the side that beat Frickley last weekend, as Josh Hancock, Matt Bell and Joe Mwasile returned to the squad after getting the night off on Tuesday against Alsager. Before the game, the stadium fell silent to pay tribute to those who have fallen in service of the country, as is the tradition ahead of Remembrance Day. It was impeccably observed by all.
Kendal started the brighter of the 2 teams, as they forced a number of corners and applied some early pressure on the Nantwich backline. The home defence stood firm and refused to allow them any sights of goal. After weathering the early pressure, the Dabbers started to control possession and the chances started to arrive. Curtis Jones was the first to go close, as he headed over from a corner. Cooke then put a free kick a yard over the bar from just outside the box.
Wayne Riley shot over from a decent position and Hancock curled just over the bar a minute later. Brooke then forced Kendal keeper Will Kitchen into a smart save at close range. Hancock again shot wide, whilst a goalmouth scramble was capitalised on by Cooke, but his effort was cleared off the line. The Dabbers were dominating the game, but were coming up against a stubborn Kendal defence.
Brooke then had the best chance of the game, as a wayward clearance dropped into the penalty area. He hit the ball as it fell with a great first time volley, but the ball cannoned off the post and bounced away to safety. Kendal then went close to opening the scoring with their first chance at the other end, as midfielder Danny Forbes worked space and curled just wide of the far post.
Just before half time, Kendal attacker Tom Kilifin looked like he had a clear route to goal, but Touray used his pace to recover and force the ball out for a throw in. It was great defending from the left back. The 2 sides went in level, despite the plethora of goalmouth action.
Kendal’s Josh Wardle went into the book shortly after half time for a late blocking challenge on Andy White. On 53 minutes, Jones challenged at a corner and the ball appeared to hit the hand of a Kendal player. Jones and his team mates appealed forcefully to the referee, but he was not interested. The game then started to become stretched as Kendal looked to hit the Dabbers on the counter attack.
The first change arrived on the hour mark as Abadaki came off and Mwasile came on. Brooke had another chance shortly after as he hit into the side netting. Matt Bell was then booked for a late challenge on Forbes before Kendal again almost sucker punched the Dabbers, as a shot again whistled just past the post.
The Dabbers were continuing to dominate the game, but were still unable to find a way through as Kendal sensed the possibility of a replay. Brooke and Mwasile both went close to scoring, as more changes followed. Riley and Brooke came off for Tim Sanders and Theo Stair respectively. The clock continued to tick down, as the likelyhood of the first 0-0 under Phil Parkinson grew.
To the Dabbers credit, they remained patient, sticking to the game plan. They got the reward for that patience with 10 minutes to go. Under pressure from the home side, Kitchen mishit a clearance straight to Cooke. Cooke then fed the ball to Hancock and he worked some space before burying the ball past the keeper to give the Dabbers a deserved lead.
2 minutes after going ahead, Nantwich had a 2nd. Andy White did really well down the right and tricked his way into the penalty area. He then crossed into the 6 yard box and Kitchen could only palm the ball onto the unfortunate Stuart McDonald, who unwittingly deflected the ball in to put the game out of reach for the Mintcakes.
White and Cooke both had chances to add a third, but Kendal twice came close to grabbing a consolation. First Sam Bailey shot straight at Parton before sub Rob Bowman beat the offside trap and bundled the ball towards goal, but it trickled narrowly wide. They were unable to find a way through and it meant the Dabbers recorded their 7th straight win and 5th clean sheet in 6 games. They now await the FA Trophy draw on Monday to find out who they will play in the 3rd Qualifying Round.
Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Ben Harrison, Matt Bell, Josh Hancock(c), Wayne Riley(Tim Sanders, 67), Ryan Brooke(Theo Stair, 74), Sean Cooke, Osebi Abadaki(Joe Mwasile, 59)
Subs not used: Reece Quinn, Dave Walker
Goalscorers: Hancock(81), McDonald(83, OG)
Kendal Town: Will Kitchen, Danny McGahon, Paul Dugdale, Martin Grundy, Stuart McDonald, Josh Wardle, Sam Bailey, Danny Forbes, Oliver Wood(Rob Bowman, 85), Thomas Kilifin(Charlie Bailey, 70), Matt Dudley(Ben Thomas, 78)
Subs not used: Dan Towers, Callum Hoctor
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