Match Report – Nantwich Town 1-1 Chester FC

Jack Jones gives his match report on the 1-1 draw with Cheshire neighbours Chester FC.

Nantwich Town wrapped up a five game home stand in their pre-season schedule with a well contested 1-1 draw against Conference Premier side Chester FC. Steve Jones put the Dabbers infront with a fantastic dipping shot from the edge of the penalty area before Elliott Durrell drew the away side level in the first half. Both sides pressed for a winner after the break but despite some good chances at both ends, the teams had to settle for a well fought draw.

Fresh off the back of a 5-3 win at our league rivals Marine FC on Saturday, Chester boss Jon McCarthy brought a strong team to the Weaver Stadium. Meanwhile, with Phil Parkinson away Neil Sorvel took charge of the Dabbers and once again named a full strength team, with Josh Gordon starting upfront alongside Theo Stair in a slightly different formation. Wayne Riley played in midfield with Sam Hall and White, Harrison, Bailey and Touray made up an increasingly familiar back four.

The first 15 minutes passed without any real incident as both teams played some high tempo football without creating many chances. A Tom Shaw curling effort that went way over on 7 minutes was all the goalmouth action to report in the opening stages of the game. The fixture burst into life on 16 minutes though as a Dabbers corner fell to Steve Jones on the edge of the box and he rifled a 25-yard screamer into the roof of the net past a diving Roberts to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

The players celebrate Jones' strike.

The players celebrate Jones’ strike.

The game perked up after the goal, with both teams starting to look more dangerous going forward. Chester forward James Alabi and trialist strike partner James Atinkunde were looking lively for the visitors with their strength and pace and the Dabbers defence had to work hard to keep them under wraps. Another who was creating problems was Elliott Durrell on the right wing, with Ibou Touray marshalling him well. Touray was looking increasingly comfortable on the left hand side and he seems to be growing in confidence with each game. His forward runs were giving the Dabbers a useful attacking outlet on the left hand side and he was able to win several corners through his movement. On 23 minutes, Atinkunde headed a chance over when well placed as the away side pressed for a leveller. Three minutes later and Wayne Riley went into the book for a late challenge on Alabi.

After 31 minutes, Chester equalised. A scramble in the box wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to the lively Durrell on the edge of the penalty area. His scuffed shot took a deflection past a wrong footed Parton to seemingly draw Chester level. However, the linesman’s flag went up for an offside, which led to instant protests from the away side. The ref headed over to consult with his assistant and after a brief chat, he decided to award the goal.

A minute later and the Dabbers were fortunate not to be behind, as the ball broke kindly for Atinkunde, but Dave Parton got down well to deny the striker. With four minutes to go until the interval, Andy White had a shot tipped around the post for a corner by Liam Roberts as both teams looked to get their noses in front before half time. Neither side could find a 2nd goal and they were forced to settle for a 1-1 scoreline at the break.


As ever in the pre-season games, Neil Sorvel opted to make a change at half time, with Curtis Jones coming on for Ben Harrison at the back. Chester came out of the blocks flying in the second half, with Atinkunde forcing another excellent save from Parton, as he saw his curling 25 yard effort palmed away by the Dabbers keeper. Nantwich hit back and some excellent football down the right hand side saw a cross into the box almost get sliced into his own net by Ryan Astles. Just shy of the hour mark and Sean Cooke went close, as he cut inside and shot just wide.

The game then lost momentum as both sides made plenty of subs in a bid to give trialists a run out and keep legs fresh. The Dabbers brought on brothers Osebi and Godwin Abadaki, along with youth teamers Jordan Bennion, Troy Bourne and Cal Jones as Sorvs rang the changes. Godwin almost found himself in on goal with 15 minutes left, but he couldn’t wriggle free and get a shot away. Osebi then had a good chance as he beat a defender but blazed over the bar. Once the changes settled in, the Dabbers started to really press for a winner and Godwin had a chance but he couldn’t test Jon Worsnop in the Chester goal. Ryan Jackson had the final chance of the game as the ball fell to him inside the penalty area in the final minute, but his shot was well saved by Worsnop.

In the end, a draw was a fair result after a strong performance from the Dabbers in which they gave their Conference Premier opponents a tough game.

Nantwich Town Starting XI: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Ben Harrison, Mat Bailey, Wayne Riley, Steve Jones, Sam Hall(c), Theo Stair, Sean Cooke, Josh Gordon

Subs: Bradley Moorhead(GK), Jonny Kapend, Osebi Abadaki, Godwin Abadaki, Ryan Jackson, Curtis Jones, Jordan Bennion, Troy Bourne, Amos Cabaye, Cal Jones

Chester FC Starting XI: Liam Roberts, Evan Horwood, Luke George(c), Blaine Hudson, Ryan Astles, Tom Shaw, James Alabi, Elliott Durrell, Johnny Hunt, Matty Waters

Subs: Jon Worsnop, Sam Hughes, Jordan Chappell, Kane Richards, Craig Mahon, Kieran Evans, Billy Reeves, Wade Joyce


Dabbers: S.Jones(16)

The Blues: Durrell(31)

Attendance: 322

The Dabbers will be heading off on their travels for their next pre-season friendly as they head to Newcastle Town. The game takes place this Saturday(30th July) and kicks off at 3pm. A full guide of how to get there can be found here. We look forward to seeing you all there.

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