Match Report: Nantwich Town 1-2 Halesowen Town

Jack Jones reports on the Dabbers home defeat to Halesowen Town.


Nantwich Town lost their 2nd home game of the season as they went down 2-1 to Halesowen Town at the Weaver Stadium. The Dabbers dominated and had enough chances to win the game, but a committed defensive display and 2 well-taken counter attack goals were enough to see the Yeltz take all 3 points in a smash and grab win. The Dabbers controlled the first half and had all the chances, but were unable to make the breakthrough. They were then caught out in the 2nd half as Malcolm Melvin scored a deflected effort. Sean Cooke brought the Dabbers level 10 minutes later from the penalty spot, but they were caught out again as Kaiman Anderson scored a superb curling effort to give the Yeltz their first win of the season.

The Dabbers made just 1 change from the side that eventually started the game against Matlock on Saturday, with the fit again Curtis Jones starting in place of Matt Bell in midfield. Sam Hall missed out through injury, but Josh Hancock was named on the bench for the first time this season after completing a 3-match ban. Mat Bailey once again skippered the team. Halesowen were feeling the pinch of squad shortages, with them only able to name 4 subs on the bench. They also named Daniel Bragoli in the starting XI despite being sent off on Saturday.


Ibou Touray had the first sight of goal 5 minutes in, shooting on target from 30 yards. Daniel Platt in the opposition goal spilled the shot, but the Dabbers couldn’t quite capitalise and the ball was eventually cleared. A minute later and Platt was almost in bother again. A header from Yeltz defender Asa Charlton was under hit and Platt had to come out of his area to clear. Godwin Abadaki charged his clearance down, but the rebound deflected out for a throw.

The Dabbers started to grow in confidence and a cross from Stair found Steve Jones at the far post. His header back across goal almost found Abadaki, but Platt claimed it well. Jones then forced a corner as Charlton nervously deflected his cross into the box behind. Sean Cooke showed his creativity 12 minutes in, as his lofted pass into the box almost found Abadaki, but it was just too far away from the striker. Charlton then hastily cleared a Stair cross as Abadaki once again lurked. Cooke was then involved in a penalty shout, as a tackle in the box took him down. The ref wasn’t interested however.

On 16 minutes, the Dabbers had the ball in the net, as Abadaki turned in a Steve Jones delivery. The linesman had his flag up for offside, denying the Dabbers a goal their play in the opening stages had deserved. That seemed to spur the Yeltz into life and they had their first sight of goal in the 19th minute. A cross into the box was deflected to Joe Colley, but he could only slice his shot well wide.


Ben Harrison then showed some great play, winning a tackle on the half way line. He then recovered the ball, danced past 2 challenges and was eventually felled for a free kick. Andy White was next to probe the Yeltz goal as his wicked cross was deflected behind for a corner with Stair lurking at the far post. Abadaki then almost pounced on a White looping ball, but his header went wide.

The Dabbers had to show lots of patience as Halesowen displayed none of the defensive fragility that had dominated their game against Blyth Spartans at the weekend. With 5 minutes to go, the lively Kaiman Anderson shot straight at Parton as the Dabbers keeper was forced into a rare bit of action. Just before half time, Cooke managed to make himself some space on the edge of the box, but his shot was straight at Platt.

Straight from the kick off in the 2nd half, the Dabbers almost had the lead. Godwin Abadaki worked some space, but he saw his shot blocked. Sean Cooke followed up and forced a good save from Platt to keep the scores level. On 52 minutes Cooke was flattened by Sho-Silva to win his side a free kick. Cooke picked himself up and blasted the free kick just over the bar. On 54 minutes, Aaron Griffiths went into the book after cynically fouling Steve Jones.


After dominating all the possession and chances, the Dabbers went behind through a sucker punch counter attack. Halesowen attacked with numbers for the first time in the game and the ball fell to Malcolm Melvin on the edge of the box. His shot deflected off Harrison and rolled in. There was nothing Parton could do about it and it came completely against the run of play. Parky reacted quickly by bringing on Dave Walker for Curtis Jones. Ibou Touray and Yeltz captain Jay Denny were then both booked for late challenges in the Halesowen half, although there seemed to be confusion over what exactly Denny had done to deserve a yellow.

The Dabbers pressed forward looking for an equaliser, with Cooke shooting over after being set up by White. On 64 minutes, they were given a lifeline when Stair was felled in the box. It looked like a penalty and the Yeltz had few complaints. Cooke stepped up and sent Platt the wrong way to give the Dabbers the goal they fully deserved. Nantwich continued to press looking for their 2nd, with a Harrison through ball just evading Dave Walker. With 20 minutes to go, Parky switched one Abadaki for another, with Godwin coming off for Osebi.

Halesowen were getting deeper and deeper as the Dabbers turned the screw. But lightning struck twice and the Dabbers were caught out on the counter for a 2nd time. Anderson broke away on the left and unleashed a dipping effort into the far corner. It was a stunning strike and it once again left Parton helpless. With 13 minutes to go, Josh Hancock came on to make his first appearance of the season, replacing Theo Stair. The Dabbers came close when a Cooke corner dropped into the 6-yard box, but nobody in Green was on hand to turn it in.


Nantwich continued to search for an equaliser, but Halesowen were defending well, denying them any clear openings. The Dabbers did manage to create chances as the game approached injury time. Hancock lifted a cross into the box, but Steve Jones could only flick a header just wide. Platt was booked for time wasting as Halesowen looked to run down the clock. 2 minutes into added time and Dave Walker almost scored a late equaliser. Platt somehow got down to superbly save his low near post header. Hancock then forced another excellent save from the increasingly busy keeper, shooting low at him from the edge of the box. He just about managed to palm away the shot. The Dabbers forced a corner right at the death, but it dropped to Bailey, who shot over the bar as the final chance came and went.

Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Mat Bailey(c), Ben Harrison, Curtis Jones(60, Walker), Steve Jones, Wayne Riley, Godwin Abadaki(70 O.Abadaki), Sean Cooke, Theo Stair(77, Hancock)

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

Halesowen Town: Daniel Platt, Kyle Haynes(89, Morrison), Aaron Griffiths, Jay Denny(c), Richard Sho-Silva, Asa Charlton, Malcolm Melvin, Daniel Bragoli, Kaiman Anderson, Tyree Clarke(70, Hill), Joe Colley

Subs: Kyle Morrison, Brodie Williams, John Hill, Jake King


Dabbers: Sean Cooke(65, Pen)

Yeltz: Melvin(56), Anderson(74)

Attendance: 265

Man of the Match: Andy White

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