By James Brown:
A disappointing day at the office saw Nantwich Town slip to a 3-2 defeat against Mickleover Sports on Saturday afternoon at The Weaver Stadium despite leading on two occasions.
Mickleover, a side scrapping for points in the closing stages of the Evo-Stik Premier Division season, started brightly applying a high press on the Dabbers. However once comfortable on the ball Nantwich provided a threat going forward.
The Dabbers had an early chance as Sean Cooke hit a superb side footed volley from the corner of the box which was destined for the top corner if it wasn’t for visiting keeper Lewis King tipping it onto the bar after 13 minutes.
Moments later Nantwich had the lead. Some lovely intricate link-up play from Cooke, Caspar Hughes and Callum Saunders created an opening before the latter was tripped in the box giving referee Daniel Bruce no choice but to award a penalty.
Cooke smashed the spot kick against the post however Saunders was very alert to turn home the rebound.
The most dangerous time for a team to switch off always seems to be as soon as they score and that proved to be the case again for Nantwich, as two minutes after going in front Mickleover were level. Some scrappy marking allowed Jack Storer to rise above Louis Barnes to head past Lloyd Allinson who was left on his heels.
Mickleover were almost ahead themselves heading towards the half hour when a free-kick right on the edge of the area was struck against the bar by Mason Warren as Allinson was beaten.
That let-off sparked an attacking burst from the Dabbers which saw them hit the front for a second time. Cooke struck a low driven effort which was excellently saved by King however Saunders was on hand again to head into an open net.
With five minutes of the first half remaining came the turning point, the Dabbers fell asleep at the back as a long ball from Pablo Mills ran all the way through to James Baxendale who fed an open Evan Garnett to slot into the bottom right corner.
It would get worse for Nantwich before the break as the visitors went in front for the first time when substitute Jiri Boula was allowed far too much time to carry the ball into the Nantwich box and fire across Allinson into the bottom corner.
Dabbers manager Dave Cooke made a double change at the back early in the second half with Joel Stair and Toby Mullarkey both coming on in the hope of solidifying the defence and pressing forward.
Nantwich were dominating possession for the second 45 minutes, looking to break down a Mickleover side putting numbers behind the ball with Danny Glover glancing a header just wide from Barnes’ cross.
A decent chance fell the way of James Lawrie with 20 minutes to go after more lovely Nantwich link-up play however Mickleover threw themselves in front of his shot as the pressure continued to ramp up.
The introduction of Ricardo Fuller gave the Dabbers another threat going forward as time began to tick away, with the striker twisting and turning in the area before being denied by King.
Nantwich threw players forward inside five minutes of added time but some desperate Mickleover defending denied them an equaliser as the visitors held on for an important victory.
The Dabbers will need to dust themselves down and go again in two weeks’ time when they travel to Lancaster City (3pm kick-off).
Nantwich Town: Lloyd Allinson, Jamie Morgan, Louis Barnes (Ricardo Fuller 73’), Troy Bourne, Joe Davis (Toby Mullarkey 58’), Caspar Hughes (c), Joe Mwasile (Joel Stair 46’), James Lawrie, Danny Glover, Sean Cooke, Callum Saunders
Subs not used: Steve Jones, Nathan Brown
Mickleover Sports: Lewis King, Karel Tvaroh, Ben Turner (c), Ricky Ravenhill, Pablo Mills, Neil Yadolahi (Jiri Boula 34’), Jimmy Phillips, Mason Warren, Jack Storer (Levi Amantchi 86’), Evan Garnett, James Baxendale
Subs not used: John McGrath, Will Norcross, Shaquille McDonald
Referee: Mr Daniel Bruce
Photos courtesy of Mark Welton and Jonathan White« Back to all news