Nantwich Town extended their unbeaten run in the league to 9 games as they saw off Warrington Town at a cold, wet and windswept Weaver Stadium. They emerged as 4-1 winners after another first half blitz put them 3-0 ahead.
Matt Bell started the scoring with a deflected 25 yard effort after just 6 minutes. After a delay due to temporary floodlight failure, the Dabbers quickly added 2 more, as John Johnston grabbed another straight from a free kick and Andy White beat Yellows keeper Anthony McMillan from 35 yards with a wind assisted strike.
In the 2nd half, Warrington came out strong and sub Michael Monaghan reduced the deficit with a well taken finish on 50 minutes. The game calmed down as the Dabbers sought to kill off the game. They had chances to extend their lead and eventually did in stoppage time. The rampaging Joe Mwasile won a penalty and Ryan Brooke finished the scoring from the spot to secure another 3 points for the Dabbers.
Phil Parkinson unsurprisingly named an unchanged squad from the one that beat Hednesford Town on Saturday, with John Johnston making his home debut.
The game was proceeded by a large amount of rain, which made the pitch slippy underfoot. The game got underway with a driving wind blowing from one end of the pitch to the other. It was to play a big part in the proceedings that followed.
The first half chance went to the visitors as Danny Hattersley scuffed a shot wide from a tight angle. The next chance was to result in a goal, as Matt Bell picked up the ball 25 yards from goal and unleashed a powerful shot on goal. With the aim of a deflection, the ball beat McMillan and gave the Dabbers an early lead.
Joe Mwasile was showing his excellent recent form as he danced through several Yellows defenders before being fouled. From the free kick, Johnston sent the free kick straight at McMillan.
Warrington then should have levelled as the ball broke to a wide open Danny Hattersley in the box. His shot was deflected and then blocked on the line by Ibou Touray and the danger was cleared. The wind once again affected play as a corner from Johnston was right on top of McMillan, but the ball swerved towards goal and the keeper had to tip the ball over.
There was drama with just 17 minutes on the clock when a strong gust of wind blew across the ground and appeared to trip out 4 sets of floodlights at the Malbank end of the ground. The referee promptly stopped proceedings and took the players off to allow the lights to come back on. They thankfully did after a 10 minute delay and the game was able to recommence.
Within 4 minutes of the restart, the Dabbers doubled their lead. Touray was fouled by Will Smart and from the resulting free kick, Johnston put the ball into the box and it deceived everyone, including McMillan who could only watch it bounce into the far corner. There was some confusion over who had scored the goal, with Curtis Jones being credited. But it became clear afterwards that it was Johnston’s goal, which was his first since joining the club less than a week ago.
A minute later and it was 3, as Andy White picked the ball up 35 yards from goal. Knowing the wind was behind him, he let fly and the ball took off, flying over the stranded McMillan and in to give the Dabbers a commanding lead. They had played to the conditions perfectly, using the wind to their advantage.
Warrington to their credit had not done a lot wrong and were a little unfortunate to by 3-0 down. They responded with some good build up play which ended with Connor McCarthy dragging a shot wide. Johnston then had 2 chances to make it 4, but his openings were blocked by McMillan on 2 occasions. The score line remained at 3-0 going into half time.
Warrington made a triple sub at half time, bringing on Scott Harries, Michael Monaghan and Ruben Jerome for Dylan Vassallo, McCarthy and Lewis Codling respectively. They had the first chance after the restart as Harries blazed over from the edge of the box.
They got a goal back on 50 minutes as they broke at pace from a Dabbers corner. All 3 subs took part in the goal, as Jerome put a ball across the pitch to Harries. He then squared for Monaghan to tuck under Gyollai and reduce the deficit.
The Dabbers were having to weather the storm as Warrington sensed they might be able to get something from the game. Johnston went into the book on the hour mark as he clipped Adam Carden. With Warrington shooting into the wind, they put a free kick into the box and Gyollai had to push the bouncing ball over the bar.
Tom Peers then had a great opening to put the game to bed as he beat his man on the half way line and broke 2-on-1 with Mwasile in support. His touch was heavy though and Carden cleared the danger. Peers was forced off immediately afterwards with a knock. Ryan Brooke replaced him.
Mwasile was enjoying the extra space in the 2nd half as he constantly looked to run at his man, causing the Warrington back line no end of problems. Touray was next to make a run forward as he burst past several players, but was stopped by an excellent tackle from Evan Gumbs.
Brooke put a shot wide of the post as the chances continued to come. Hattersley became the latest player in the book as he made a strange and unnecessary foul on Touray as the ball was going out for a throw. Andy White then had to withdraw with an injury, with Joel Stair replacing him.
The Dabbers were looking comfortable as Warrington struggled to test Gyollai’s goal. They did come close when Hattersley let fly from 35 yards, but ball went 2 yards wide of goal. Parky made his final sub of the evening with 12 minutes to go, taking off Johnston for Osebi Abadaki.
Abadaki’s first contribution was to win a foul as Smart fouled him. The Yellows midfielder went into the book for dissent following the award of the free kick. Curtis Jones headed the resulting free kick straight at McMillan. Yellows captain James McCarten became the 3rd Warrington player in the book as he cynically fouled Mwasile as he looked to break.
Mwasile set up Brooke as time ticked away, but the shot was blocked for a corner. Warrington came close to setting up a grandstand finish as a corner into the box dropped to Jerome, but his quick shot hit the top of the bar and bounced away to safety.
With injury time fast ticking away, there was one last bit of action. Mwasile once again beat his man for pace, getting past him and into the penalty area. He was dragged back and the ref pointed to the spot. Carden was booked in the aftermath for an off the ball foul on Abadaki.
Ryan Brooke stepped up and smashed the penalty hard down the middle with the final kick off the game to wrap up another excellent win for the Dabbers, who rise to 2nd after the win.
Nantwich Town: Dan Gyollai, Andy White(Joel Stair, 73), Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Ben Harrison, Sam Hall(c), Wayne Riley, John Johnston(Osebi Abadaki, 78), Matt Bell, Tom Peers(Ryan Brooke, 64), Joe Mwasile
Unused subs: Steve Jones, Joe Howell
Goalscorers: Bell(6), Johnston(28), White(29), Brooke(90 pen)
Warrington Town: Anthony McMillan, Adam Carden, Josh Askew, Sean Williams, James McCarten(c), Evan Gumbs, Lewis Codling(Scott Harries, 45), William Smart, Daniel Hattersley, Connor McCarthy(Ruben Jerome, 45), Dylan Vassallo(Michael Monaghan, 45)
Bookings: Carden, McCarten, Hattersley, Smart
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