Match Report: Nantwich Town 3-0 Lancaster City

By Ryan Batty:

A second half double from midfielder Sean Cooke ensured the Dabbers made it three wins in a week as they comfortably overcame Lancaster City 3-0 at the Weaver Stadium.

Cooke scored twice within two minutes as he fired home Nathan Cotterell’s low cross before curling in a  fine free kick just moments later, adding to Harry Clayton’s first half header.

The Dabbers made two changes from the side that beat Sandbach in midweek, as Clayton McDonald and Joel Stair replaced Jake Phillips and Dave Forbes with Stair returning from his recent suspension.

Lancaster made one change from the side that drew with Barwell as Billy Akrigg was replaced by Simon Wills, although a late change to the starting eleven saw Akrigg return to the starting eleven in place of Rob Henry, who seemed to pick up a knock in the warm-up.

The first half passed largely without many chances, as the first clear attempt at goal came for the Dabbers after nine minutes as the ball fell to Cooke on the edge of the box, following a free-kick but his shot was deflected and went out for a corner.

Matt Bell’s subsequent set piece then found the head of Stair, but the defender’s powerful header was cleared off the line and away to safety.

Neither side were able to grab a hold of the game in the next fifteen minutes although the visitors had their first clear-cut chance of the game as Stair’s backpass was caught in the mud and allowed Charlie Bailey through but an errant shot allowed Bourne to clear away.

However it was the Dabbers who took the lead after forty-two minutes as Joe Mwasile’s driving run resulted in a neat through ball to Clayton in behind the defence, and the forward was cool and calm as he slotted home for his fifth goal in six games, and his tenth of the campaign.

That was how the first half concluded, and Nantwich led by a goal at the interval.

The visitors made the first substitution of the game as captain Craig Carney was replaced by Gavin Clark. However, Clayton McDonald had crumpled to the ground a moment earlier in obvious discomfort and he himself had to be substituted a moment later, and was brought off for Jordan Cole.

The target man had to be stretchered around the field, which included a rather funny moment as the physio team had to carry McDonald across the face of goal whilst the game was still in play.

More changes came midway through the second period as the visitors brought on Leon Creech in place of Bailey whilst Cole only lasted seven minutes as he was taken off after suffering a repeat of his hamstring injury earlier in the month. Nathan Cotterell was his replacement.

Bringing on Cotterell seemed to be a stroke of brilliance as he was directly involved in the second goal. The winger played a fine one two with skipper Caspar Hughes before providing an excellent cross into the box for Cooke to fire home the Dabbers’ second.

Moments after the restart Nantwich were back on the attack, Mwasile beating two men before being brought down on the edge of the box, so close that a section of home support thought that the referee was awarding the Dabbers a penalty!

However, the free-kick saw Cooke step up and, cool as you like, the midfielder curled it round the wall and into the top corner.

Lancaster continued to search for a way back into the game and went close as Mamadou Djabi was inches away from converting Jarvis’ low centre, before Jamie Morgan needed to be on hand to clear Glenn Steel’s shot off the line.

Despite the convincing lead, Hughes nearly added a fourth for his side late on but Powell made a fine recovery save after he had palmed away Cotterell’s dangerous cross.

The result sees the Dabbers remain in 16th, with the two sides set to meet again in the reverse fixture on Tuesday night.

Nantwich: Boney, Morgan, Wildin, Stair, McDonald (Cole 61’ (Cotterell 67’)), Bourne, Hughes (C), Bell, Clayton, Cooke, Mwasile

Subs not used: Phillips, Forbes, Spiess

Lancaster: Powell, Akrigg, Dugdale, Wills, Hudson, Steel, S. Bailey (Kifilin 79’), Carney (C) (Clark 59’), Djabi, C. Bailey (Creech 67’), Jarvis

Subs not used: Winder

ATT: 255

Ref: Mr R Eley


Photos: Jonathan White

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