Nantwich Town fell to a Boxing Day defeat on the road at Workington, as they went down 3-1 at Borough Park. After drawing the short straw in the fixture scheduling and having to make the 300 mile round trip to Cumbria on a day when the rest of the league made relatively short trips, the Dabbers started slowly against a Reds side out to force the tempo. They fell behind to a swirling free kick from Jake Simpson after 14 minutes. The Dabbers were indebted to Dave Parton and Curtis Jones, who made crucial first half blocks to keep the score down.
In the 2nd half, Nantwich were much improved, keeping the ball better. They had chances to equalise before Ryan Brooke tapped home an Andy White cross 15 minutes from time. However, they fell behind minutes later as Dave Symington smashed home a low drive from outside the box.
Rob Wilson wrapped up a deserved win for the home side with a fantastic curling finish from 25 yards. It compounded a desperately disappointing day for the Dabbers, who now must lick their wounds and look to respond against Ashton United on Thursday evening.
Phil Parkinson made just one change to the side narrowly lost to Lincoln City last time out, with Osebi Abadaki coming back in for loanee Oli Finney, who dropped to bench. Josh Hancock came back into the squad on the bench after completing a 4 match ban, as did Ben Harrison who recovered from a hamstring problem that had kept him out of the last 4 games.
Workington started the game at a fast tempo, forcing a sluggish Dabbers team into mistakes. They were on top in the early stages and their first chance came 8 minutes in, as Dave Parton had to save low down from Joe McGhee. The rebound bounced out, but it was blazed over the bar.
The Dabbers were struggling to cope with the bobbly pitch and blustery conditions and fell behind on 14 minutes. Workington right back Simpson swung a harmless looking free kick into the area, but the wind caught the ball and it dropped over Parton into the far corner. It gave the Reds a deserved lead.
Workington remained on top as they coped better with the conditions. They won a number of corners, which the Dabbers were forced to hastily defend. From one corner, Kyle May got above his man, but could only head straight at Parton from close range. Conor Tinnion was the next to go close, as he shot straight at Parton once again.
After spending most of the first half on the back foot, the Dabbers then should have drawn level on 24 minutes. Good hold up work from Ryan Brooke released Joe Mwasile on goal. With only the keeper to beat, he decided to try and round the keeper instead of shooting. He eventually ran out of room and the chance went begging.
That seemed to energise the Dabbers and Hall and Brooke both put half chances wide. The game became scrappy after that, with both sides trying to get a foothold in the game. With 5 minutes to go until half time, Parky made an early change, taking off Abadaki for Josh Hancock.
A minute later though, the Dabbers were fortunate to not go 2-0 behind. Joel Stair was dispossessed on the right and Curtis Jones was forced to block a goal bound shot from 4 yards out. That kept the score at 1-0 going into the break, which was a positive for the Nantwich after a tough first half.
The Dabbers came back out for the 2nd half a lot stronger, as they started to keep possession. Wayne Riley had the Dabbers first chance as he side footed a Touray cross wide when well placed. Mwasile then almost found himself in on goal after a good through ball, but he couldn’t fashion a shot. Riley was replaced by Oli Finney shortly afterwards.
2 minutes after coming on, Finney almost drew the Dabbers level, as he got in on goal, but he couldn’t chip Reds keeper Aaran Taylor from a tight angle. Scott Allison went into the book for a late challenge on Joel Stair as they game started to get feisty. Stair then shot well over after he wasn’t closed down.
Despite the better showing, Workington were still posing a threat. Allison dispossessed Joel Stair and forced Jones into another goal saving block. Andy White then had to clear off the line after a shot was drilled towards goal from a corner. With 20 minutes to go, Parky made his final change, bringing on Theo Stair for Matt Bell.
Mwasile then came close to grabbing an equaliser as he shot narrowly wide after good work down the left. With 15 minutes to go, the Dabbers did get an equaliser. Andy White showed great persistence to keep the ball alive down the right and he hit a low cross into the box. The ball misssed everyone and Ryan Brooke was gleefully waiting to tap home at the far post for his 7th of the season.
Despite getting back level, the Dabbers fell behind a minute later. Workington sub Dave Symington was allowed to cut inside on the right and he drilled home from the edge of the box. The Dabbers pressed for an equaliser, but they struggled to create any clear cut chances.
Workington wrapped the game up 4 minutes from time when winger Rob Wilson wriggled into some space on the edge of the area and bent a superb shot into the top corner. That killed the game as a contest and despite a late bit of Dabbers pressure, the Reds were able to close out a comfortable win.
Workington: Aaran Taylor, Jake Simpson(Dave Symington, 63), Gary Rowntree(c), Kyle May, Josh Calvert, James Earl, Joe McGee(Jack Ryan, 72), Rob Wilson, Scott Allison, Conor Tinnion, Elliot Newby(Anthony Newby, 81)
Subs not used: Matty Douglas, Nathan Waterston
Goalscorers: Simpson(14), Symington(76), Wilson(86)
Nantwich Town: Dave Parton, Andy White, Ibou Touray, Curtis Jones, Joel Stair, Sam Hall(c), Joe Mwasile, Matt Bell(Theo Stair, 71), Ryan Brooke, Wayne Riley(Oliver Finney, 53), Osebi Abadaki(Josh Hancock, 39)
Subs not used: Ben Harrison, Dave Walker
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