Nantwich Town fell to just their 2nd home league defeat in their last 16 as they lost 2-0 against Whitby Town at the Weaver Stadium. Phil Parkinson’s men had been protecting a 14 game unbeaten league run and would have been confident of extending that streak as they hosted a Seasiders team who are on the edge of the play offs. They were thoroughly beaten though, and only some last ditch defending prevented the scoreline looking worse.
The Dabbers were on the back foot straight away though, as a weak shot from David Carson beat Dan Gyollai 30 seconds, with the keeper unable to get down quick enough to stop the effort. That lifted the visitors, who looked bright and energetic throughout.
Whitby should have doubled their lead when a mistake from Gyollai almost let Anthony Bell in, but the keeper recovered to save Bell’s shot. The Blues continued to look the better side and they kept the Dabbers on the back foot, with a Tom Peers effort well over the best the home side could muster.
The Dabbers started the 2nd half more brightly, but they continued to misplace passes and struggle to maintain any pressure on Whitby. The visitors then doubled their lead midway through the half as top scorer Dale Hopson found the top corner from the edge of the box after the ball had sat up nicely for him.
The Dabbers were unable to mount any sort of response, with a few tame efforts the best they could muster as they fell to their first defeat in 2 months.
Phil Parkinson was forced into a change from the side that drew with league leaders Blyth Spartans on Tuesday. Ben Harrison missed out through illness, with Curtis Jones coming back into the starting XI. Joe Mwasile recovered from his own illness which kept him out of the Blyth game to return on the bench.
A crowd of 481 were soaking in the bright sunshine, but any late arrivers would have missed the opening goal, with the ball breaking to David Carson on the edge of the Dabbers box. His bobbly low shot evaded Dan Gyollai and crept into the bottom corner to stun the home supporters and give the Blues an early lead.
2 minutes later and it was almost 2, as a poor touch from Gyollai gave the ball straight to Anthony Bell. To his credit, he recovered quickly and blocked Bell’s first time shot. It was a let off for the Dabbers, who had been caught out by Whitby’s fast start.
The visitors were looking quick and sharp, pressing the Dabbers high up the pitch and forcing them into mistakes. Dale Hopson had 2 shots blocked in quick succession, whilst Gyollai had to palm a well hit effort from the edge of the box away from goal.
Anthony Bell went into the book after he caught Andy White late and Adam Gell required treatment after colliding with a team mate going for the ball. The Dabbers were not making any sort of progress going forward, with passes going astray and moves breaking down.
Tom Peers had their first effort of the game on 38 minutes when he shot well over the bar. It summed up what had been a poor half from the Dabbers.
They started the 2nd half better, with Matt Bell shooting wide a minute in. Michael Roberts went into the book for a late foul on Curtis Jones and Carson was shown a yellow after he felt he was fouled and showed too much frustration.
Parky made his first sub on 57 minutes when Vinny Mukendi came on for Tom Peers upfront. Andy White then pounced on a slip in the Whitby defence, but his goal bound effort was blocked and cleared away. Mukendi then had a weak header on goal, but it wasn’t troubling Whitby keeper Shane Bland.
The visitors were still looking dangerous and a cross into the 6 yard box by Hopson just missed Bell at the far post. Joe Mwasile was the next Dabbers change, as he came on for John Johnston. The visitors grabbed a deserved 2nd goal on 64 minutes when the Dabbers lost the ball in their own half. A neat interchange between the Whitby forwards saw the ball eventually fall to Hopson on the edge of the box. It sat up nicely and he fired into the top corner past a helpless Gyollai to put the Blues in total control.
The Dabbers looked to respond, as a Sam Hall volley into the penalty area was flicked on goal by Curtis Jones and the ball was tipped over by Bland. The final Nantwich sub came with 20 minutes to go as Steve Jones came on for Josh Hancock.
Whitby were still looking superior as they looked to hit on the counter. From one move, Hopson curled wide of goal from the edge of the box. At the other end, Mukendi scuffed an effort on goal and then fired well wide. Whitby should have made it 3 late on after Carson and sub Anthony Hume broke 2-on-1. Carson’s attempt to square the ball to a wide open Hume was superbly blocked by Curtis Jones, who stopped what looked to be a clear goal.
Sean Cooke had the last chance of the game as his close range shot lacked power and rolled straight to Bland. It summed up the afternoon for the Dabbers, who had looked off the pace for the whole game. They will now look to bounce back when they take on another play off chaser in Matlock Town on Tuesday at the Weaver Stadium.
Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Joel Stair, Curtis Jones, Sam Hall©, John Johnston(Joe Mwasile, 60), Matt Bell, Tom Peers(Vinny Mukendi, 57), Sean Cooke, Josh Hancock(Steve Jones, 69)
Unused subs: Wayne Riley, Ryan Brooke
Whitby Town: Shane Bland, Callum Martin, Danny McWilliams, Andrew May, Luke Bythway, Steve Snaith©, Adam Gell, Dale Hopson, Michael Roberts, David Carson, Anthony Bell(Anthony Hume, 84)
Subs: Kyle Fryatt, Mark Robinson, Lee Bullock, Daniel Dixon
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