By Steve Sharman:
A first half strike from Sean Cooke ensured Nantwich Town earned a point on the road as they drew 1-1 with Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday night.
The midfielder swept home from six yards after a clever free-kick from James Lawrie on the right, but the Dabbers were pegged back minutes before the break as Ross Dent found the net for the home side.
Manager Dave Cooke made two changes from the weekend victory over Scarborough as Nathan Cotterell and Callum Saunders came into the starting eleven in place of Joe Mwasile and Aaron Knight.
The game began slowly as both sides were unable to create any clear opportunities although the Dabbers saw plenty of the ball early on.
On 15 minutes the hosts hit the woodwork as Chris Sharp’s powerful effort from the edge of the box was superbly tipped onto the post by Fabian Spiess, before George Hughes then blazed over when well placed in the Dabbers box.
Two minutes later Nantwich hit the woodwork themselves as following a pinball in the Celtic box, Saunders glanced a header onto the crossbar from close range.
Cooke was forced into his first change of the game midway through the first period as Danny Glover came off and was replaced by Joe Malkin.
James Lawrie was the next Dabbers’ player to test the Celtic goal as he curled over the bar after being given time and space on the edge of the box.
The Dabbers were dominating proceedings and some fine individual play from Saunders nearly gave the game its first goal, but the former Crewe man fired narrowly over the crossbar.
But five minutes later, Nantwich took the lead as Cooke fired in his first goal of the season following Lawrie’s clever free-kick from the right.
However the lead didn’t last long as Dent got in behind the Dabbers’ defence and was able to lift the ball over the advancing Spiess to level proceedings.
The second period began with Nantwich looking to retake the lead and Cooke went agonisingly close to doing so as he header inches past the post, following a fine cross into the box by Lawrie.
Up the other end, lively winger Scott Bakkor did well down the right hand side, but the Celtic man was unable to hit the target as his effort went wide of the far post.
Sharp then hit the post again from a tight angle for the hosts as the Dabbers were forced into another change as Troy Bourne replaced Caspar Hughes.
Nantwich were looking like the more likely to score and Cooke fired narrowly over the bar from distance after another clever set piece from Lawrie.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes a draw was looking the more likely result although Malkin had a glorious chance to score as he fired over at the back post after Louis Barnes’ cross had found the forward unmarked.
The Dabbers did have one more chance late on in stoppage time as Cooke’s half volley was straight at Celtic keeper James Aspinall as the game ended all square at Bower Fold.
Next up the side is back at the Weaver Stadium this Saturday as they take on Farsley Celtic in the league (3pm KO).
Stalybridge Celtic: Aspinall, Soloman-Davies, Wilson, Hughes (Flint 63′), Tongue, Clarke, Bakkor (Maeico 79′), Dent, Sharp, Wolfenden (c), Caton (Kengni 63′).
Subs not used: Brady, Winterbottom (GK)
Nantwich Town: Spiess, Morgan, Barnes, Stair, Mullarkey, Hughes (c) (Bourne 61′), Lawrie, Saunders, Glover (Malkin 21′), Cooke, Cotterell (Jones 72′).
Subs not used: Mwasile, Hawkins (GK)
Ref: Mr D Baines« Back to all news