By Steven Dale
A brace from Steve Jones, a well-taken finish from Khallem Bailey-Nicholls and seven first team changes couldn’t prevent The Dabbers exiting the Integro Doodson League Cup at the second round stage.
-Nantwich began this cup-tie on the back of Saturday’s home draw with Barwell.
-Matty Ashbrook and second half substitutes Sam Dodd and Nathan Cotterell would make their first Dabbers first team appearance.
-Both teams knew that the winner would go on to face Newcastle Town in the next round.
Sean Cooke played 63 minutes as he steps up his return from injury.
Eventual winners on the night, Buxton, would gain the advantage early in this encounter. A fine cross from the right-hand touchline presented a great opportunity to Alastair Taylor at the far post and he made no mistake with his eventual finish.
Following their 2-2draw against Barwell at the weekend, The Dabbers had to wait until the 12th minute for their first chance of the contest. A smart turn on the edge of the box from Bailey-Nicholls got the home side back-tracking and his follow-up effort produced a fine save from Barlow in the Buxton goal.
However, their next chance came just a short while afterwards. Some great skill from Joe Mwasile down the right-hand side caused problems for the Buxton defenders and his eventual cross was headed just wide of the target by Matty Ashbrook.
That man Mwasile’s next key run – opened up the opportunity for the next chance. His strong run led to a corner for the visitors and during the period of play that followed, Joel Stair saw his close-range effort well cleared off the Buxton goal line.
The away side had certainly grown into the game as the half progressed and it was Steve Jones who brought them back into the contest. He finished off a fine Dabbers move by bundling home from close range to make it 1-1 with 30 minutes of the half gone.
Andy White could have put his side in the lead when a neat interchange provided him with a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box. His effort, though, was well saved by Barlow once again.
Two-goal Steve Jones would also miss a second-half penalty
Despite The Dabbers having the most chances, they fell behind in injury time. A weaving run by Buxton forward Jamie Jackson won a penalty for the home side Bradley Grayson made no mistake from the spot to ensure his side entered the interval 2-1 to the good.
That late first-half moment seemed to inspire a strong start to the second half from the hosts and this time it was Danny Burns who saw his effort cleared off the line. A powerful header from the central defender met a well-worked corner but Nantwich bodies stood firm on the goal line to clear the danger.
Buxton went close to extending the lead once again just four minutes later when Jackson latched onto a long-range pass to have a clear run at the Nantwich goal. However, he slipped at the vital moment and put it wide of Gyollai’s left-hand post.
Jackson was presented with an almost identical chance moments afterwards, but this time he’d make no mistake. He remained calm as he bore down on Gyollai’s goal to extend Buxton’s advantage on the night.
3-1 became 4-1, again from the spot, after 61 minutes. This time, it was Nicky Walker who was brought down in the area and Grayson again made no mistake from the spot.
Nantwich though reduced the deficit after 62 minutes. A fine long-range pass from Andy White sent forward Khallem Bailey-Nicholls in the clear and he remained calm to pull one back for the visitors.
The visiting Dabbers had a chance to reduce the score even further when they were awarded their own penalty after 74 minutes for a handball decision. Barlow, though, produced a brilliant save from Steve Jones to preserve Buxton’s two-goal advantage.
With five minutes still to play – Grayson came close to completing his hat-trick. His optimistic strike from the edge of the penalty area, though, saw him rattle the frame of the goal.
Nantwich will hope to bounce back from this defeat when they travel to Rushall this forthcoming Saturday.
Barlow, Williams, Johnson, F Bembo-Leta, Burns, Brooks, Taylor, McGee (C), Grayson, Jackson, Walker.
Subs: Abbot, J Bembo-Leta, Milner, Hinsley, Jameson.
Gyollai, Riley, White, J Stair, Bourne, Hall (C), Mwasile, Cooke, Bailey-Nicholls, S Jones, Ashbrook.
Subs: Abadaki, Touray, Cotterell, Dodd, Brooke.
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