By James Brown:
Nantwich Town progressed into the Cheshire Senior Cup semi-finals thanks to an added time winner from Danny Glover to beat tenman Chester FC 1-0 on Tuesday night at The Weaver Stadium.
In a pulsating encounter which was fantastic to watch for the supporters in attendance, a few feisty challenges went in early on with James Lawrie of Nantwich and Matty Waters of Chester both receiving yellow cards inside the opening ten minutes.
The Dabbers were playing some good football in the opening stages, with Ricardo Fuller in his first start linking up well with Sean Cooke but were unable to test visiting keeper Connor King.
The first real opportunity for either side came 20 minutes in when Fuller brought a ball down brilliantly before feeding Callum Saunders on the penalty spot but he couldn’t get a clean shot on goal despite being in an excellent position. The feisty beginning to the game continued with Chester captain Scott Burton also seeing yellow for a very reckless challenge which saw him lucky to stay on the pitch.
Nantwich looked the more threatening side throughout the opening 45 minutes, going close again when a corner was headed against the bar by Man of the Match Toby Mullarkey as the Dabbers continued to knock at the door.
Chester didn’t test Will Jaaskelainen until almost the half hour mark when Daniel Mooney’s left footed effort was straight into his arms.
After Saunders had a goal ruled out for offside came a big talking point of the game. Chester were reduced to ten men three minutes before half-time after some more poor discipline, this time from George Green who wiped out Fuller with two feet off the ground giving the referee no choice but to send him off.
Despite Nantwich having the man advantage, Chester started the second half on the front foot with Mooney firing a powerful effort just over from at least 30 yards inside the opening two minutes.
The Dabbers first chance after the break saw Fuller set Jamie Morgan on the right who struck from distance, the shot slipped through the hands of Chester keeper King but luckily for him dipped over the bar.
As the half wore on Nantwich were finding themselves in good positions and should have taken the lead if it wasn’t for a superb King save, keeping out a Fuller shot with an outstretched leg after he was played in by Cooke.
The half become much more end-to-end towards the hour mark as moments after the King save, Jaaskelainen made a fine stop to deny Mooney who was Chester’s main threat.
Both sides made changes in an attempt to find a winner with Glover, Luke Walsh and Steve Jones all coming on for the Dabbers at a good time as they had become slightly sloppy in possession allowing Chester to build in confidence.
The visitors brought on Akwasi Asante who immediately became a threat, turning past Joel Stair before hitting a powerful shot from a difficult angle which hit the outside of the post.
With five minutes to go Caspar Hughes thought he had put Nantwich ahead after substitute Jones set him up perfectly just inside the box however his shot flew inches wide of the right hand post. Another substitute, this time Chester’s Lloyd Marsh-Hughes could have sent his side into the semi-finals after making a brilliant run before hitting low towards the near post but Jaaskelainen was on hand again to make a vital save.
Two minutes of added time were shown by the fourth official, Nantwich only needed one to win the tie and it came from a combination of all three substitutes. Walsh delivered a perfectly weighted ball towards the back post which Jones headed down towards goal, forcing King into a reaction save but he could only parry it into the path of Glover who fired home with a half volley.
A semi-final place now confirmed, it’s back to our promotion push on Saturday as Scarborough Athletic visit The Weaver Stadium (3pm kick-off).
Nantwich Town: Will Jaaskelainen, Jamie Morgan, Nathan Cotterell (Luke Walsh 76’), Joel Stair, Toby Mullarkey, Troy Bourne, James Lawrie, Caspar Hughes (c), Ricardo Fuller (Danny Glover 61’), Sean Cooke, Callum Saunders (Steve Jones 82’)
Subs not used: Matthew Bell, Joe Malkin
Chester FC: Connor King, Bradley Jackson (Lloyd Marsh-Hughes 76’), Matty Waters, Scott Burton (c), Danny Livesey, Steve Howson, Daniel Mooney (Matthew Thomson 64’), Gary Roberts, George Green, Anthony Dudley, Craig Mahon (Akwasi Asante 64’)
Subs not used: Grant Shenton (GK), Iwan Murray
Referee: Mr Sam Mulhall
Attendance: 272« Back to all news