By James Brown:
A battling second-half performance saw Nantwich Town come out on top of what was a very tight game against Farsley Celtic on Saturday afternoon at the Weaver Stadium.
After absorbing a good amount of Farsley pressure to begin the game, Nantwich took the lead on twenty-one minutes when Sean Cooke played in James Lawrie who struck a lovely hit into the bottom corner.
With Farsley pushing forward, looking for an equaliser and coming close when a shot deflected just wide of Fabian Spiess’ outstretched hand, the Dabbers struck again with two minutes before half-time when a Louis Barnes free-kick was curled towards the back post and powerfully headed home by skipper Joel Stair.
Seconds before the half-time whistle, Farsley found a way back into the game as Nantwich switched off following a long ball from keeper Kyle Trenerry which bounced all the way through to James Spencer. The striker took advantage of a slip from Stair to lob over Spiess to make it all to play for in the second half.
Farsley almost equalised a minute after the restart when Lewis Turner found Spencer on the edge of the box, who found Paul Walker but the striker’s effort was just past the far post. It was one-way traffic to begin the second half with the Dabbers defence having to throw themselves in front of shots to clear any danger.
With Matt Bell and Joe Malkin coming on to replace Louis Barnes and Aaron Knight, Nantwich shuffled the formation in the hope of taking the tempo out of the game as Farsley continued to press. After the substitutions the Dabbers looked livelier as Cooke found Malkin however the young forward was unable to get a shot off.
The Dabbers pushed forwards just after the hour mark following a poor Farsley free-kick as Jamie Morgan ran clear on the left before finding Cooke, who came agonisingly close to making it 3-1, but his curling effort went inches wide. Some good attacking play from Spencer at the other end created a chance for Farsley however his shot required an excellent block from Toby Mullarkey.
Callum Saunders also went close for Nantwich after seventy-three minutes when Mwasile drove forward into the Farsley half and found the striker on the edge of the box, but his right-footed strike was high and wide. During the final fifteen, Farsley put some heavy pressure on the Dabbers goal with some desperate clearances and blocks being made before Spiess rushed out excellently to deny substitute Nathan Cartman.
A golden opportunity fell to Jack Higgins to earn Farsley a share of the spoils with a matter of minutes remaining as the centre half found himself in acres of space on the right however a cross across the face of goal was unable to be turned in as the Dabbers held on to earn three points after a hard-fought afternoon of football.
Nantwich are next in action this coming Tuesday evening looking for a third victory in four when Hednesford Town visit the Weaver (7:45pm), before travelling to Mickleover Sports on Saturday for a 3.00pm kickoff.
Nantwich Town: Spiess, Morgan, Barnes (Bell 51’), Stair (c), Bourne, Mullarkey, Mwasile, Lawrie, Saunders (S. Jones 81’), Cooke, Knight (Malkin 54’)
Subs not used: Phillips, Hawkins (GK)
Farsley Celtic: Trenerry, Turner, Baldwin (Britton 86’), C. Atkinson, Higgins, A. Clayton (c), Atkinson, Hornshaw (Parkin 74’), Spencer, Walker, Hayhurst (Cartman 74’)
Subs not used: Ed Hall (GK), Mark Bett
Referee: Mr K. Silcock
Photos courtesy of Mark Welton and Jonathan White
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