By Ryan Batty:
Nantwich Town fell to their first defeat in six games as two first-half goals left too large a mountain to climb, being defeated 2-1 by Rushall Olympic on a warm day at the Weaver Stadium.
Rushall took the lead through Gurjit Singh after a quarter of an hour, when a neat move from the former Sutton Coldfield midfielder led to Singh sliding the ball past Krystian Burzynski at the far post. They doubled their lead just before the break as Danny Waldron was played in behind the defence, and the forward was able to roll it past Burzynski.
The Dabbers got back into the game just after the break, as Harry Clayton tapped home a Jordan Davies cross to jubilation from the home support. However, they just couldn’t find an equaliser towards the end of the game.
Manager Dave Cooke made eight changes from the side that drew with Warrington in midweek, with Harry Clayton, Matt Bell, Nathan Cotterell, Clayton McDonald, Declan O’Riordan, Kallam Boyle and Krystian Burzynski all making starting appearances.
The Dabbers had the first chance of the afternoon, after seven minutes as Danny Griggs beat AJ Adelekan for speed, but the opposing full-back hauled the winger down halfway in the Rushall half. Griggs’ free-kick was aimed towards Clayton in the area, but the cross was just beyond the striker’s reach and out for a Pics goal-kick.
After nine minutes, Clayton could have given Nantwich the lead as a mistake in the defence allowed the ex-Kidsgrove striker to take it behind the backline. Biddle allowed him to pick his spot, but the striker slashed the ball wide of goal.
The visitors took the lead soon after as Singh played his way through the defence on the left of the area. His step-over fooled Jamie Morgan, and he was able to slide the ball past Burzynski at the far post to give the Pics the lead, despite it being against the run of play.
There was even more bad news for the Dabbers soon after, as Clayton McDonald went down in considerable pain, and the defender came off soon after, as he was replaced by Toby Mullarkey.
After twenty-two minutes, Burzynski was tested from distance as a Rushall shot from outside the box was dipped over the scrum of defenders, but the effort was batted down by the Nantwich ‘keeper.
Eight minutes later, Clayton had an open goal to shoot at the outside of the box, but the striker couldn’t quite switch the ball onto his preferred left foot to have a proper effort at goal, so his shot went wide.
Five minutes before the interval came Rushall’s second goal, as Danny Waldron was played through behind the defence, and despite many protesting that he was offside, the assistant’s flag stayed down, which meant Waldron simply had to tuck it home past Burzynski.
That would be how the first half ended, as the Dabbers couldn’t quite grab a goal before the break.
There was one change at the interval, as Luke Walley replaced Nathan Cotterell.
Nantwich scored soon after half-time, as Davies found space on the right-hand side, and the Welshman squared it into Clayton in the area, who was able to tap it past Biddle to give the Dabbers a path back into the game.
Waldron had a chance to double his score tally after fifty-six minutes, as he found space on the edge of the box. However, his effort was poor and was sliced wide for a goal-kick.
Nantwich made their third and final change on the hour mark, as Caspar Hughes was replaced by Troy Bourne.
Many of the Nantwich support thought that they had equalised just after the hour mark, as Bell fired the ball from the edge of the area, but the shot narrowly scraped the post. Just after came the visitors’ first change, as Gurjit Singh was replaced by Mathis Fonovich.
With twenty minutes to go, Nantwich had a free-kick in the Rushall half as Bell was mauled down. Griggs’ effort was straight into the hands of Biddle however.
Kallam Boyle had had a superb game, despite it being a quiet one, and he almost grabbed an assist as his free-kick found Troy Bourne, but the defender’s header couldn’t trouble Biddle.
The visitors then made two changes one-after-the-other, as Lewis Archer and Kacy Milan-Butterfield came on, while Richard Brodie and Andre Landell made way.
However, there would be no more clear-cut chances for either side, as, despite four minutes of added time, Nantwich couldn’t quite get in the positions to get another goal as they fell to defeat.
Nantwich are back in action on Monday evening as they host Stalybridge Celtic in Cheshire Senior Cup action for a 7.45pm kickoff. Then, they return to league competition next weekend when they travel to Ashton United for the penultimate Saturday fixture of the season.
Nantwich: Burzynski, Morgan, Boyle, O’Riordan, McDonald (Mullarkey 19′), Hughes (C) (Bourne 60′), Cotterell (Walley 46′), Bell, Clayton, Davies, Griggs
Subs not used: Wildin, Hawkins (GK)
Rushall: Biddle, Smikle, Adelekan, Hawker, Whittall (C), Townsend, Landell (Milan-Butterfield 76′), Maye, Brodie (Archer 79′), Singh (Fonovich 65′), Waldron
Subs not used: Webb, Dubidat
Ref: Mr C Brown
Photos courtesy of Jonathan White.« Back to all news