Match Report: Nantwich Town 2-3 Witton Albion

By Steve Sharman:

A second half brace from Steve Tames saw Nantwich Town bow out of the Integro League Cup after a 3-2 defeat at home to Witton Albion.

On a freezing evening in Cheshire, Albion substitute Tames netted twice in the final 15 minutes to send his side through to the third round of the competition.

Micah Evans had given the visitors the lead early on but strikes from Jamie Morgan and Steve Jones sent the Dabbers into the break with a goal advantage.

But the introduction of strikers Rob Hopley and Tames proved a lethal combination as the latter sent his side through with two well taken finishes in the second period.

Manager Dave Cooke named a strong line up for the game with captain Sam Hall, keeper Will Jaaskelainen and Caspar Hughes all in the starting line up.

The opening 20 minutes of the game offered nothing in terms of opportunities as either side were unable to grab a hold of the game.

However the first real chance gave the game it’s first goal as Anthony Brown’s header across the face of goal from Paul Williams’ floated free kick, saw Evans nod past Will Jaaskelainen from six yards.

The goal woke the Dabbers up as they went straight up the other end and went close to equalising through Dave Forbes who shot wide of the near post after the ball had fallen to the striker just inside the box.

But it didn’t take long for that equaliser to come as Morgan curled brilliantly into the far corner from the edge of the box after a fine run down the left from Curtis Strong saw the winger find his team mate.

The game began to get sloppy again and it wasn’t until five minutes before the break that it got its next goal as Jones raced clear of the Witton defence before rounding keeper’ Ryan Neild and calmly rolling the ball into an empty net from an acute angle.

Having gone into the break behind, Witton came out full guns blazing and within moments of the restart nearly drew level but for Jaaskelainen’s fine close range save to deny Owen Dale’s low volley.

The keeper on loan from Crewe was being kept busy in the opening stages of the second half and he once again denied Dale before Morgan cleared Will Jones’ follow up off the line.

Ten minutes into the half and Witton manager Carl McCauley made a double change which proved to be crucial as Hopley and Tames were introduced as they looked for a way back into the game.

On the 70 minute mark Witton drew level as Hopley found Tames unmarked in the Dabbers box, with the striker able to slot past Jaaskelainen from 12 yards.

Dave Cooke responded to the goal with two substitutions of his own, with Keaton Webster and Declan O’Riordan brought on in place of Joe Mwasile and Clayton McDonald.

Webster had to be alert pretty swiftly as he made a fine recovery challenge on James Foley, who had looked to have got in behind the Dabbers’ centre-back.

As the game looked to be heading to a penalty shootout, the visitors netted a third through Tames once again, as he lashed home from close range after Jaaskelainen had saved brilliantly from Hopley’s low effort.

The Dabbers were left with little time to save the game, although Troy Bourne’s lofted cross nearly found the back of the net but for Neild’s fine save as he tipped the ball over the bar.

As the hosts poured bodies forward in search of an equaliser, Witton nearly had a fourth as Hopley broke clear of the Dabbers’ defence but the forward was denied by Jaaskelainen.

But despite earning a couple of late corners, the Dabbers were unable to find a third goal as they exited the competition.

Next up for Cooke’s side is this coming Saturday as Coalville Town visit the Weaver in the league with a 3pm KO.

Nantwich Town: Jaaskelainen, Bourne, Morgan, Phillips, McDonald (Webster 73′), Hall (c), Mwasile (O’Riordan 73′), Hughes, S. Jones, Forbes (Clayton 64′), Strong

Unused subs: Burzynksi (GK), Griggs

Witton Albion: Neild, Wilson, McKenna (Tames 56′), Devine, Brown (c) (Ryan 30′), Foley, Dale, Williams, W. Jones (Hopley 56′), Lingouba, Evans

Unused subs: Eves, Hare (GK)

Ref: Mr D Bruce

ATT: 138


Photos courtesy of Jonathan White

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