Nantwich Town returned to 2nd in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division after a 3-0 home win over Coalville Town.
After coming unstuck against the Ravens earlier in the season, the Dabbers took their time to settle into the game but eventually forged ahead. John Johnston pounced on a long ball to put the home side infront and Sean Cooke added his 21st of the season from a free kick 4 minutes before the break to put the Dabbers in control.
They killed the game early in the 2nd half as Tom Peers picked up a bouncing ball in the box and slotted in a 3rd. The Dabbers then entered cruise control and could have even snatched another as half chances came and went. Coalville struggled to seriously test the Dabbers goal and in the end, the game petered out to finish 3-0.
Phil Parkinson made 3 changes for the game from the side that started against Skelmersdale United in midweek. Matt Bell returned to the squad in midfield, whilst Joe Mwasile and Tom Peers were recalled. Goalscorers Steve Jones and Ryan Brooke dropped to the bench, whilst Josh Hancock made a welcome return to the squad after 6 weeks out following a hernia operation.
The game was slow in the opening stages, with neither team able to get a clear sight of goal. Matt Bell had the first shot of the game on 8 minutes as he fired over the bar from outside the box.
Tom Peers should have scored on 11 minutes as a corner into the box eventually dropped nicely to him just a few yards out. He could only scoop over the bar, but the offside flag was up and his effort wouldn’t have counted. At the other end, Nathan Watson beat the Dabbers defence and fired wide from a tight angle with Coalville’s first chance.
John Johnston’s long range shot was the first test of Matt Coton in the Coalville goal, but it was a comfy save for the Ravens stopper. Neither team were able to get a control on proceedings, but Mwasile was once again proving tough to handle. He first beat 3 men on a mazy run before being tackled on the edge of the box. He then won a foul after Kyle Bryant dragged him back on the left wing.
It was in truth a scrappy game with chances few and far between. Watson had the visitors 2nd chance as he headed on goal, but Gyollai gathered the ball at the 2nd attempt. The Dabbers were starting to turn up the pressure as the game approached the half hour mark. Johnston had a shot blocked and Mwasile cut inside and shot wide.
Coalville remained a threat though and almost went infront after a spot of pinball in the Dabbers box saw the ball get sent towards goal, but Andy White was able to clear the danger. After that close shave, the Dabbers went ahead. A long ball over the top caused confusion in the Ravens defence and the persistent Johnston was able to beat 2 covering Coalville defenders and fire past the onrushing Coton to put the home side in front.
The game had needed a goal and the Dabbers were lifted by the lead. Peers spun and shot on goal after Hall picked him out with a great through ball. His shot was blocked. Coalville then had to commit 2 fouls in quick succession, as Massiah McDonald barged over Cooke and then Lee Torr fouled Mwasile.
From the resulting free kick, the ball hit the Coalville wall and the referee spotted a handball by Liam Walshe. Walshe went into the book and the referee moved the free kick right to the edge of the box. It was 2nd time lucky for Sean Cooke, who saw his free kick deflect past Coton to give the Dabbers a 2nd. Mwasile and Matt Bell both had chances before half time, but in the end the Dabbers went in 2 goals to the good.
In the 2nd half, Coalville started brightly, but couldn’t fashion any chances. Ibou Touray then burst into the Coalville penalty area, but his cross couldn’t find a team mate. The next opportunity was taken though, as a ball into the ball looped into the area and Peers reacted quickest. He got the ball under control, beat his man and slotted past Coton to put the Dabbers in command.
To their credit, Coalville didn’t give up, as Watson picked up the ball and went on a mazy run that ended with his shooting wide. Harrison cleared away a dangerous looking cross before Ravens sub Anton Brown headed wide from the resulting corner.
Despite holding a 3 goal lead, Cooke shot straight at Coton from distance whilst a dangerous Mwasile cross couldn’t find a team mate. Another Raven sub, Rory Coleman, cut inside and dragged a shot wide as the game ticked down. The Dabbers made 2 quick changes, as Ryan Brooke replaced Peers and Josh Hancock made his first appearance in 6 weeks as he came on for Joe Mwasile.
Hancock’s first real involvement was to take a pass from Touray and shoot wide of goal. He was then almost played in by a quick clearance from Gyollai, but Danny Jenno hastily nodded back to Coton. Wayne Riley came on for Sam Hall with 20 minutes remaining.
The visitors had 2 half chances as subs Edilson Antonio skewed well wide and Rory Coleman put a close range free kick straight at Gyollai. Just as things looked to be dying down, in injury time Wayne Riley made a poorly timed tackle on Anton Brown. That drew a crowd of players and some pushing and shoving ensued.
Once things calmed down, Riley went into the book. From a Coalville corner shortly afterwards, Gyollai claimed the ball and got caught in a tangle with Danny Jenno. Yet more pushing and shoving commenced as tempers remained high. Jenno went into the book for his part in the confrontation. The referee did the sensible thing and brought the game to a conclusion shortly afterwards, giving the Dabbers their 20th league win of the season and strengthening their grip on a play off spot.
Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Joel Stair, Ben Harrison, Sam Hall(c), Wayne Riley, 70), John Johnston, Matt Bell, Tom Peers(Ryan Brooke, 63), Sean Cooke, Joe Mwasile(Josh Hancock, 66)
Goalscorers: Johnston(32), Cooke(41), Peers(51)
Unused subs: Steve Jones, Osebi Abadaki
Coalville Town: Matt Coton, Kyle Bryant, Lee Torr, Danny Jenno, Dean Freeman, Liam Walshe(Rory Coleman, 56), Alex Dean(c)(Anton Brown, 56), Steve Towers, Massiah McDonald(Edilson Antonio, 70), Nathan Watson, Jack McMillan
Unused subs: Luke Foster, Jack Harvey
Bookings: Bryant(20), Walshe(41), Jenno(90)
Highlights:« Back to all news