Jack Jones reports from the Dabbers FA Trophy win against Warrington Town.
Nantwich Town’s good form in the cups this season continued as they advanced to the 2nd Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy. They will be aiming to match and even go further in a tournament that they reached the semi-finals of back in March. They made the first step towards that goal with a 2-0 win away at Warrington Town.
Goals from Osebi Abadaki and Curtis Jones in each half gave the Dabbers a comfortable win which could have been more comprehensive had they taken any of the excellent chances they created, especially in the 2nd half. They suffered an scare in the first half when Warrington hit the post, but they scored first thanks to a strong run and finish by Abadaki. Warrington hit the post again in the 2nd half, but a composed finish from Curtis Jones wrapped up the win for the Dabbers, who now have to wait until Monday to discover who they’ll face in the next round.
Phil Parkinson made a number of changes for the game as players both returned from and served suspensions. Ibou Touray and Ryan Brooke served one game bans, whilst Matt Bell and Sean Cooke were in the starting XI after sitting out last week’s game at Corby Town. Joel Stair also returned, making his 2nd start in place of Touray. New signing Joe Mwasile had to make do with a place on the bench. Warrington’s new manager Paul Carden named his own new signing in Danny Hattersley upfront alongside top scorer Ciaran Kilheeney, with midfield anchor Michael Grogan also in the team.
It was a quiet start to the game, with both teams looking to get on the ball and control the tempo. A Hattersley shot straight at Parton was about all the goalmouth action in the first 10 minutes. The Dabbers had their first chance of the game when Sean Cooke put a 25 yard free kick over the bar. Warrington were the first to go close though as a cross into the box found Hattersley, but thankfully his scuffed attempt hit the outside of the post and bounced away to safety.
The Dabbers then went close on 19 minutes when Abadaki skipped away down the right hand side and advanced into the penalty area. Unfortunately, his cross looking for Josh Hancock was cleared away in the 6 yard box. Both teams were struggling to create chances as they largely cancelled each other out in the first half an hour of play.
With 10 minutes to go until half time, the game burst into life. A long ball was flicked in behind the Warrington back line and Abadaki got goal side of Yellows defender Peter Wylie. He picked up the ball, held off Wylie, got into the penalty area and unleashed a fierce shot that beat Warrington keeper Karl Wills at his near post. It was a fine run and finish from Abadaki, giving him his 2nd goal in 2 games and his 4th of the season.
The Dabbers had their tails up having gone in front. Wayne Riley was played in behind a minute later, but the ball got away from him as he tried to go in on goal. Good work down the left from Andy White then found Hancock with a cross, but Josh could only side foot wide of the near post. Abadaki was continuing to cause problems, but it was Theo Stair who was next to test the keeper, forcing a smart save out of Wills shortly before half time. The Dabbers took a well deserved 1 goal lead into the break.
The first chance of the 2nd half went to the Dabbers, as a cross from Riley was almost deflected in by a Warrington defender, but Wills managed to scramble and keep the ball out. On 53 minutes, Warrington hit the post for a 2nd time, as a cross from the left deflected onto the post. It was a let off for the Dabbers, but it was as close as Warrington were to come to grabbing a goal after that.
Nantwich responded to the let off and went close to a 2nd. Good attacking work caused confusion in the Warrington penalty area. The ball fell to Riley, who curled just wide. Theo Stair then went clean through on goal, but Wills denied him 1-on-1, making a fine save down to his right. Abadaki went clear on the left and again was denied by an increasingly busy Wills. Hancock was set up nicely by Stair on the hour, but he could only shoot over.
The Dabbers were dominating the chances, and finally got the 2nd goal that their play deserved on 64 minutes. A cross into the box from Cooke was flicked on to a wide open Curtis Jones at the far post. He took the ball on his chest and volleyed past a helpless Wills to double the away sides advantage. That was Jones’ 2nd goal of the season, with both goals coming against Warrington at Cantilever Park.
Joe Mwasile came on for his debut, replacing goalscorer Abadaki. Josh Hancock was also brought off, Dave Walker coming on in his place. Warrington tried to muster a response, with right back Peter Wylie leading a charge downfield before shooting well over. Simon Lenighan was next to shoot wide, bending one round the post from 20 yards.
The Dabbers were still creating chances and Walker was unlucky not to bag a 3rd. He was put through on goal and lifted the ball over Wills, only for a desperate goal line clearance from Scott Metcalfe to deny him. Riley then shot straight at Wills. Tim Sanders replaced Riley as Parky brought on fresh legs. There was little goalmouth action in the final 10 minutes, with a Gillespie free kick going a yard over the bar the only noteworthy chance as the Dabbers comfortably saw out the game and moved on to the 2nd Qualifying Round.
Warrington Town: Karl Wills, Peter Wylie, Andrew Nicholas, Simon Lenighan, Kristian Platt, John Shaw(Tom Peers, 60), Scott Harries, Michael Grogan(Steven Gillespie, 45), Ciaran Kilheeney(c)(Conor Speed, 67), Danny Hattersley, Scott Metcalfe
Subs not used: Niall Ford, Jack Richards
Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Joel Stair, Andy White, Curtis Jones, Ben Harrison, Matt Bell, Josh Hancock(Dave Walker, 64), Wayne Riley(Tim Sanders, 74), Theo Stair, Sean Cooke, Osebi Abadaki(Joe Mwasile, 61)
Subs not used: Danny Griggs, Reece Quinn
Goalscorers: Abadaki(35), Jones(64)
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