A penalty from Sean Cooke and a fine strike from Kaiman Anderson was enough to give the travelling Nantwich Town all three points in a closely contested Evo Stik Premier contest.
The Dabbers made one change to the starting line up, with Anderson starting in place of Jordan Davies who wasn’t available for selection.
NTFC started brightly with Bell hitting the post after 4 minutes. However, this was all undone after 6 minutes when a long ball from Mickleover caught out the Nantwich defence and Bradley Grayson prodded home to give Mickleover a 1-0 lead.
Nantwich went close to an equaliser when a header from Forbes went just over the bar.
The game then went into a period of relative stalemate until the 41st minute, when Caspar Hughes crossed low and the ball went agonisingly across the front of the goal with no-one able to poke the ball home.
Half time came and Mickleover were leading 1-0.
Nantwich boss Dave Cooke made a couple of changes at half time, perhaps with Monday’s game in mind, bringing on Sean Cooke and Stephen Jones, who replaced Forbes and Hall.
On 48 minutes NTFC had another chance with a free kick in a dangerous area but Cooke’s shot was blocked by the Mickleover wall and went out for a corner.
Then, on 50 minutes, a break through! There was a handball in the Mickleover penalty area and referee Law pointed to the spot.
Cooke put the ball on the spot, ran up, and then blasted the ball straight down the middle and the scores were level.
1-1. Game on.
Then, on 59 minutes, some exceptional play and Nantwich were leading!
The ball came to Sean Cooke at pace in the middle of the park, and Cooke did a brilliant dummy which completely fooled the Mickleover defence and Kaiman Anderson was through on goal. There was still work to do and a covering defender, but Anderson did what good strikers do and smashed the ball home with his left foot off the underside of the bar.
1-2 and Nantwich were in the lead!
That move alone was worth the entrance fee – imaginative dummy from Cooke knowing Anderson was behind him and BOOM – the game had swung in favour of The Dabbers.
Dave Cooke made one more change on 72 mins, replacing Anderson who still isn’t quite ready for 90 minutes, and putting on the man mountain of Clayton McDonald up front. McDonald made a real nuisance of himself from the off, winning headers and hassling defenders with his sheer presence.
Mickleover were nearly level on 74 mins with a great chance but Grayson took too long to get his shot away and the danger was cleared.
Jamie Morgan has treatment for a knock and was clearly struggling to run properly but with all 3 subs used, NTFC had no choice but to carry on. Bell eventually slotted into left back as young Morgan tried to run off the injury.
On 84 mins, Troy Bourne made a superb saving tackle when the striker was clean through, a tackle that was as good as a goal for The Dabbers.
Just before that, Joel Stair had hooked the ball off the line and the Nantwich fans were cheering every tackle and urging the lads to get forward to take the pressure off the defence.
There was still time for another moment of magic from Cooke, with a brilliant dribble and then curled the ball into the top right corner but just hitting the underside of the bar when it looked to be sailing in.
A final brave save from Burzynski who got clattered for his troubles kept the score at 1-2.
The final action saw Steve Jones break away but his shot went over the bar.
The final whistle went after 3 minutes of injury time to the delight of the Nantwich bench and it was a great away victory in a closely fought game but a deserved three points for NTFC all things considered.
So that’s 8 points from a possible 15 and ninth in the league. A decent start indeed from the new look Dabbers, especially so given our tricky fixtures and I think all green supporters are pleasantly surprised.
Better still, it is some fantastic football that is being served up which is testament to the excellent back room staff and coaches in place.
A rallying cry to get yourself down to the Weaver Stadium this Bank Holiday Monday for a 3pm KO against Barwell.
Your support would be hugely appreciated as Nantwich try and get another three points to push further up the league. If you haven’t seen Nantwich play this season and you’re in the area, come and check them out!
Team: Burzynski, Bourne, Morgan, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall (C), Hughes, Forbes, Clayton, Bell, Anderson. Subs: Baxendale, Webster, McDonald, Cooke, Jones« Back to all news