Match Report: Shaw Lane 3-1 Nantwich Town(FA Trophy)

Jack Jones reports on the defeat to the Division One South leaders.


The Dabbers dropped out of the FA Trophy in the 3rd Qualifying Round after they lost 3-1 to Division One South high flyers Shaw Lane. Nantwich started the game well, but the physical hosts grew into the game and started to apply some pressure. They took the lead when Gavin Allott headed home a cross from the right midway through the first half as the Dabbers struggled to create chances.

Nantwich came out much brighter in the second half and scored a superb equaliser when Sean Cooke bent in a free kick for his 14th of the season. The game was pretty even contest until the Ducks retook the lead thanks to a deflected goal that left Parton no chance after 71 minutes. Things went from bad to worse when Josh Hancock was sent off for an off the ball incident late on. The hosts immediately took advantage of the extra man as they bundled in a 3rd to wrap the game up and send the Dabbers out of the Trophy.

Phil Parkinson made 2 changes to the team that lost to Buxton, with Joe Mwasile and Osebi Abadaki recalled in place of Josh Hancock and the injured Ryan Brooke. Matt Bell assumed the captaincy with Sam Hall and Josh Hancock both out of the starting XI. Shaw Lane started tricky winger Alex Byrne, targetman Gavin Allott and experienced defender Neil Austin in their team as they looked to extend their winning streak to 13 games.

The game didn’t take long to get going, as 3 minutes in, Cooke went down in the box looking for a penalty, but the referee wasn’t interested. The Dabbers started the game well, with Tim Sanders heading an Abadaki cross over the bar. Ibou Touray then made a surging run and was fouled. From the resulting free kick, the ball was headed behind for a corner.

Alex Byrne had the first chance for the hosts as he shot well over. Theo Stair was then caught late as the Dabbers put a flowing move together, resulting in a booking for Ducks defender Kelvin Lugsden. Stair then cut inside and put a shot just over the bar.

Shaw Lane started growing into the game and won a succession of corners. Ryan Qualter planted a free header straight at Parton and there were a number of nearly moments in the Dabbers penalty area as they turned up the pressure. Gavin Allott had the ball in net on 25 minutes, but the flag was up for offside. Jonathon Wafula then had a shot deflect just wide of the far post as they closed in on the opening goal.

On 27 minutes, the hosts took a deserved lead when Allott got on the end of a Ben Algar cross to head home. They almost had a 2nd when Allott again got above his man and headed on goal, but Parton made a smart save down low to keep the ball out.

Allott was causing problems and had a shot blocked before Byrne flicked a corner just wide of the post. The Dabbers hit back and Bell headed a Cooke cross narrowly wide. They couldn’t muster any more chances and went in at the break a goal down.

The Dabbers started the 2nd half brightly and Touray put a shot just wide a few minutes in. 5 minutes into the half and they drew level. Cooke won a free kick after persistent pressure forced Shaw Lane into giving the ball away. He picked himself up and curled in another excellent free kick to give him his 14th goal of the season.

Byrne went into the book before the hosts went close to a 2nd, as Kelvin Lugsden headed just wide from a free kick. The Dabbers made their first sub, with Mwasile coming off for Hancock.

Shaw Lane once again turned up the pressure, but the Nantwich defence kept them out. On 68 minutes, the Dabbers broke and Stair had a shot blocked. Tim Sanders then made way for Wayne Riley. The Ducks then retook the lead with 20 minutes to go, in fortuitous circumstances.

Andy Gascoigne picked up the ball in midfield and hit a shot from distance. It took a wicked deflection off Bell, who was making a valiant attempt to block the shot. It rolled in past a wrong footed Parton to give the hosts a somewhat fortunate lead. Gascoigne then fouled Cooke and went into the referee’s notebook.

The Dabbers started to apply some pressure as they looked for an equaliser. They made the final change, with Cooke coming off for Dave Walker. Despite forcing a number of corners, they were unable to create any clear sights of goal as the hosts defended well.

With 4 minutes to go, the Dabbers were reduced to 10 men as Josh Hancock was sent off after he was involved in an off the ball incident with Byrne. It was a controversial decision and it left the away side up against it for the final few minutes.

Things got even worse when Shaw Lane immediately added a 3rd following the sending off. A cross into the box was flicked on by Wafula and was bundled in by Allott for his 2nd of the game. The goal effectively killed the game off as the Dabbers tried to muster a response.

Steve Istead was booked for persistent fouling deep into stoppage time, but the away side were unable to create any significant chance and slipped to back to back defeats for only the 2nd time this season.


Shaw Lane: Jon Stewart, Neil Austin, Ben Algar, Steve Istead, Ryan Qualter, Alex Byrne, Keiron Lugsden, Gavin Allott, Andy Gascoigne, Jonathan Mafula, Kelvin Lugsden

Subs: Joel Purkiss, Oscar Radford, Mateusz Zaniewski

Bookings: Kelvin Lugsden(17), Byrne(57), Gascoigne(75), Istead(90)

Goalscorers: Allott(27, 88), Gascoigne(71)

Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Ben Harrison, Curtis Jones, Matt Bell, Tim Sanders(Wayne Riley, 69), Joe Mwasile©(Josh Hancock, 63), Osebi Abadaki, Sean Cooke(Dave Walker, 78), Theo Stair.

Subs Not Used: Reece Quinn, Joel Stair

Red Card: Hancock(86)

Goalscorer: Cooke(51)

Attendance: 215


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