Match Report: Nantwich Town 3-2 Basford United


By James Brown:

Nantwich Town continued a perfect start to a busy festive period with a 3-2 victory over tough opposition in Basford United at the Weaver Stadium on Saturday afternoon to remain six points clear at the top of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier Division table.

It was a less than ideal start for the Dabbers when the visitors took an early second minute lead after a Joel Stair clearance fell kindly for Matt Thornhill who fired past Will Jaaskelainen off the underside of the bar.

The Nantwich response was fantastic and eight minutes after falling behind, they were level when Sean Cooke’s dinked ball found Joe Malkin who chested it down and fired a well struck volley under Basford keeper Kieran Preston.

That equaliser filled the Dabbers players with confidence as they took control of the first half and deservedly went in front after 22 minutes. Joe Mwasile’s strike was parried by Preston only into the path of Jamie Morgan who, at a very tight angle, turned the rebound home.

Nantwich continued to apply plenty of pressure on Basford as the first half wore on with several balls into the box dealt with, in particular by the impressive keeper Preston, as Matt Bell earned a caution after a fifty-fifty challenge which would prove to be a talking point later on in the game.

Following an effort from Basford striker Courey Grantham being blasted over from inside the box, at the other end Preston produced a miraculous save when Malkin unlocked Cooke in the area who’s powerfully hit strike was tipped over the bar.

A major talking point came three minutes into the second half when Basford defender Stefan Galinski appeared to kick Malkin while the striker was on the floor but escaped without even a warning. The second half was a slow burner with Louis Barnes’ drilled cross across the face of goal the closest to testing Preston before the hour mark.

Jaaskelainen was then called into action with 25 minutes remaining as Grantham was sent racing through one-on-one into the Nantwich box however the shot-stopper did well. That save proved vital as ten minutes later it was 3-1 when substitute Callum Saunders let fly from distance and saw his shot cannon off the bar but only as far as Malkin who was on hand to fire home the rebound.

An excellent attendance of 488 almost saw a fourth Dabbers goal on 81 minutes when a corner was whipped into the box however Toby Mullarkey’s header was just over as the defender could’ve scored a couple on the afternoon.

Basford made it a nervy finish after throwing men forward and pulling a goal back with six minutes to go when substitute Zak Goodson found the net out of nowhere, dinking a Greg Tempest ball over Jaaskelainen.

At the beginning of four added minutes, Bell was shown a second yellow after preventing Basford from countering which meant the Dabbers had to play stoppage time with ten men however, they held on relatively comfortably to see out an important victory.

The top of the table Dabbers will look to continue their fine run of form on Boxing Day with a short trip to face Stafford Rangers (3pm kick-off).

Nantwich Town:  Will Jaaskelainen, Jamie Morgan, Louis Barnes, Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey, Matt Bell (Red Card 90′), Joe Mwasile, Caspar Hughes (c) (Callum Saunders 46’), Joe Malkin, Sean Cooke (Troy Bourne 64’), James Lawrie

Subs not used:  Nathan Cotterell, Danny Glover, Steve Jones

Basford United:  Kieran Preston, Liam Bateman, Cieron Keane, Jerry Nash (Greg Tempest 16’), Stefan Galinski, Lewis Carr (c) (Zak Goodson 71’), Revarnelle James (James Reid 59’), Jack Thomas, Nathan Watson, Matt Thornhill, Courey Grantham

Subs not used:  Deon Meikle, Saul Deeney (GK)

Attendance:  488

Referee:  Mr Kristian Silcock

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