By Steve Sharman:
A debut strike from Jordan Cole saw Nantwich Town claim a 2-0 victory over Stourbridge in a dominating display at the Weaver Stadium on Tuesday night.
Cole, who signed from Newcastle Town earlier on in the week, came on as a second half substitute and within ten minutes had doubled the Dabbers’ lead with a fine long range effort following Harry Clayton’s first half finish.
Manager Dave Cooke made two changes from the weekend’s defeat to Coalville Town as Curtis Strong and David Forbes were brought in for skipper Sam Hall and Steve Jones.
The Dabbers started brightly from the off and required a close range save from visiting keeper Matt Gould after five minutes as Clayton McDonald headed goal wards from Matt Bell’s in-swinging corner.
It was all the home side early on and Stour striker Luke Benbow had to be alert on his own goal line as he cleared Forbes’ low effort from under the crossbar after the ball had fallen to the Dabbers’ striker inside the box.
A minute later and the hosts were convinced they had taken the lead as Clayton’s volley sailed over the advancing Gould, before striking the crossbar and bouncing down over the line.
However the linesman, who had been behind play ruled it to have not gone in allowing Stourbridge to clear their lines.
Forbes and Clayton were linking up well in attack and the pair’s good play allowed winger Joe Mwasile an opportunity to fire an effort on goal, but his left footed shot sailed over the crossbar.
But the Dabbers didn’t have long to wait for the opener as on 20 minutes Bell’s through ball found Clayton in on goal, and the former Kidsgrove man calmly slotted the ball past Gould to give the home side the lead.
The visitors were struggling to create anything of note and were relying on their physicality and Tom Tonks’ long throw, but the Dabbers backline dealt with any danger and threat from their opponents.
On the half hour mark, Mwasile broke clear of the Stour defence but chose to try and square the ball to Clayton instead of shooting, as his attempted cross flashed across the face of goal and out of play.
Up the other end, defender Stuart Pierpoint saw his flicked header from Tonks’ corner fly wide of the far post, as Stour looked for an equaliser before the break.
Stourbridge began to find their way back into the game in the final ten minutes of the half, but again the Dabbers defence were comfortable with any attacks the visitors had.
Two minutes after the restart and Benbow wasn’t far off finding the net as his overhead kick flew wide of Will Jaaskelainen’s near post.
But much like the first half, the second period continued to see the Dabbers in the ascendancy as more good link up play between Forbes and Clayton saw the latter shoot wide from the edge of the box,
Manager Dave Cooke then made a double substitution as debutant Cole replaced Forbes while Jamie Morgan came on for Clayton McDonald who looked to have pulled up with an injury.
It didn’t take long for Cole to make an impact as within ten minutes of coming on he latched onto Clayton’s neat flick, before firing into the bottom corner from 25-yards.
The goal was nothing more than the Dabbers deserved and they looked for more as the impressive Curtis Strong was denied by a goal line clearance after the winger had picked the ball up just inside the Stour box.
The final ten minutes of the game offered little in terms of clear cut chances as the Dabbers comfortably saw out the game as they claimed all three points and moved up four places to 18th in the table.
Next up for Cooke’s side is this Saturday as they travel to Halesowen Town in the league with a 3pm KO.
Nantwich Town: Jaaskelainen, Bourne, Wildin, Stair, McDonald (Morgan 56′), Bell (c), Mwasile (S. Cooke 73′), Hughes, Clayton, Forbes (Cole 57′), Strong.
Unused subs: Burzynski (GK), Walley.
Stourbridge: Gould, Westlake, Christophorou, McCone (c), Pierpoint (Dodd 50′), Forde, Tonks, Broadhurst, Perry (J. Cooke 79′), Benbow (Green 71′), Shearer.
Unused subs: Collingridge (GK), Marsh.
Ref: Mr D. Hitchell
Photos courtesy of Jonathan White
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