BY JAMES BRISCOE
Photography by David Hynds
The Dabbers banished the demons of Saturday’s FA Trophy defeat with a thumping of in-form Leek Town to catapult them in to the second round of the Doodson Sports Cup courtesy of a brace each from Ben Deegan and Harry Clayton and an Andy White freekick.
Ex-Dabber Niall Maguire forced Jack Cudworth to save low to his left on 13 minutes when there looked to be no danger.
Ben Deegan powered home on 16 minutes after industrious wing play by Ollie Devenney who pulled back. The Leek defence stood like frozen statues as Deegan continued his impressive goalscoring form.
Mitch Husbands almost benefited from loose Nantwich defending on 21 minutes curling with style but just over.
Russ Courtney headed from inside the area on 22 minutes but his effort was too close to Ben Chapman in The Blues’ goal.
Rhys Swetnam had a great chance to level matters on 24 minutes when the sometimes eccentric Cudworth tried to sweep away a through ball but lost the race however the Leek full back blazed wide with the goal gaping.
Leek seemed affected by the chill as they stood off Nantwich in the first half hour but The Dabbers took advantage with some attractive passing play.
Andy White extended The Dabbers’ lead with a whipped freekick on 34 minutes which looped over Chapman after Paul Donnelly glanced with his head.
We know he is a long shot specialist and Devenney’s crackerjack just missed Chapman’s left-hand post on 37 minutes.
Leek’s Andy Bratt exhibited some brattish behaviour gesturing a stamp towards Ross Davidson and then pushing Devenney in the chest on 53 minutes for which he received a red card.
‘Deegs’ again showed his eye for goal on 61 minutes with a fine finish which nestled in Chapman’s corner and appeared to seal the win against a downbeat 10-men Leek.
Harry Clayton ended his goal drought on 75 minutes after Davidson showed his lovely dribbling abilities to beat a defender and square close in.
Like buses a second Clayton goal came along five minutes later when he tapped in a rebound following White’s freekick.
Leek’s Tim Grice thumped just wide on 83 minutes after White could not stretch enough to cut out the pass to him.
Nantwich substitute, Earl Davis, powered against the post and Sam Wilson fired over from close range before the final whistle relieved the disappointed Leek players and staff.
Nantwich will play away against Trafford FC on Tuesday December 3 in the second round of the Doodson Sport Cup.
Despite the comfortable win, Dabbers boss, Danny Johnson was still hurting from Saturday’s loss against Northwich in the FA Trophy. He was, however, cheered by Harry Clayton’s brace and Ben Deegan completing 67 minutes with a couple of his own.
Johnson said: “I’m still disappointed with Saturday, I can’t shake it out of my system just because we’ve beaten an under-par Leek side tonight so I’m not going to get carried away, the lads won’t get carried away, but fair play we’ve gone on and scored five goals and we’ve done it against opposition who are top of their table. They’ve made four or five changes but they had very much the same back four and midfield so we’ve done great but I’m bitterly disappointed with the performance on Saturday and if we’d come out with the mentality on Saturday that we did tonight I’m sure it’d been a different scoreline.
“We passed the ball as a team, we looked to get the ball down on the floor and play some football and Phil [Eastwood], Earl [Davis] and I are trying to get the lads to play some football and get the ball wide and get some crosses in the box and although we’ve not bombarded them with crosses in the box tonight at least we’ve looked to play the ball and get it wide and get balls in the box with some great overlapping runs and plenty of desire to get on the end of things and if truth be known we could have hit double figures tonight.
“I was really pleased with Harry. He started up front and he had a bit of weight on his shoulders in the early part of the season but we’ve got Steve Foster and Ben Deegan to complement Aaron Burns and we know Harry’s a very good player so we’re trying to accommodate him out wide on the right and get him to become a wide midfielder for us.”
Nantwich Town: Jack Cudworth, Sam Wilson, Andy White, Oliver Devenney, Russ Courtney, Adam Jones (Jordan Wain 77), Harry Clayton, Ross Davidson (c), Ben Deegan (Matty O’Neill 67), Steve Foster (Earl Davis 83), Osebi Abadaki. Subs: Aaron Burns, Phil Eastwood.
Leek Town: Ben Chapman, Rhys Swetnam, Joe Evans (John Johnston 50), Paul Donnelly, Andy Bratt (sent off 53), Sam Hall, Niall Maguire, Dan Shelley, Tim Grice, Mitch Husbands (Andy Kinsey 60), Matt Bell. Subs: Ant Danylyk, Jordan Johnson, Kyle Stubbs.
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