Sean Cooke 45′(p)
Shane Benjamin 65′
- Lloyd Allinson
- Jamie Morgan
- Troy Bourne
- Joel Stair
- Toby Mullarkey
- Caspar Hughes (c)
- Nathan Cotterell
- Matt Bell
- Joe Malkin
- Sean Cooke
- Danny Glover
Luke Walsh for Nathan Cotterell (66′)
Callum Saunders for Joe Malkin (73′)
Steve Jones for Danny Glover (86′)
- Sam Andrew
- Joe Briers
- Connor Bartle
- Kern Miller
- Tom Ward (c)
- Jack McGovern
- Jordan Adebayo-Smith
- Chris Dawson
- Shane Benjamin
- Callum Coyle
- Akeel Francis
Michael Tweed for Callum Coyle (82′)
Sam Grouse for Akeel Francis (86′)
Jamie Jackson for Jordan Adebayo-Smith (90′)
Nantwich Town were held to a 1-1 draw by a battling Grantham Town side despite taking the lead on a frustrating Saturday afternoon at The Weaver Stadium.
Sean Cooke put an off-colour Dabbers in front from the penalty spot in first half stoppage time, firing straight down the middle after Joe Malkin had been brought down in the box by Chris Dawson following some great skill by Danny Glover.
A Grantham side desperate for points at the wrong end of the Evo-Stik Premier Division table found themselves level just after the hour, capitalising on a lethargic start to the second half from Nantwich as Shane Benjamin earned his side a point, turning home a rebound after Callum Coyle had forced new Dabbers keeper Lloyd Allinson into a save.
In a first half which lacked clear-cut chances for either side, Nantwich could have taken an early lead after Jamie Morgan created a great opening, bursting into the box to latch onto a Glover pass however his shot was straight at Grantham keeper Sam Andrew.
FC United loanee Allinson had his first taste of action ten minutes in when Dawson fired towards goal following a short corner routine however it was easily claimed.
The Dabbers had a penalty shout waved away on the half hour mark when Glover seemed to be pushed in the back by Kern Miller however the referee wasn’t interested.
Benjamin, who had signed for Grantham on loan from Hednesford Town on Friday, was using his strength to provide a threat and found himself with a clear sight of goal soon after but Troy Bourne threw in a tremendous block to keep the game goalless.
A second penalty shout brought the opening goal. Glover used excellent skill to get past a couple of Grantham defenders before Malkin’s touch took him ahead of Dawson who tripped the striker from behind and received a yellow card. Cooke made no mistake, ending the Dabbers’ poor run of missed spot kicks.
Nantwich came so close to getting an all important second goal six minutes after the restart when Nathan Cotterell beat his man before drilling a low cross into the box and found Malkin who directed it onto the crossbar.
That miss almost immediately came back to haunt the Dabbers as Allinson needed to make a superb one handed save to tip a Coyle shot over from distance.
Grantham eventually did capitalise on that missed opportunity on 62 minutes when Benjamin was in the right place at the right time to turn in a rebound after the impressive Coyle had created the opportunity.
The Grantham man by god round Cotterell before forcing Allinson to save a shot which was only parried as far as the visitors’ striker. The equaliser lifted the tails of the Grantham players as Nantwich began to look nervier in defence.
An excellent crowd of 587 inside The Weaver watched on as Dave Cooke introduced Luke Walsh, Callum Saunders and Steve Jones in the hope of finding a winner with a number of deliveries into the box failing to test Grantham keeper Andrew.
The visitors may well have taken all three points late on when the pacey Jordan Adebayo-Smith was denied by Allinson before substitute Michael Tweed couldn’t latch onto the loose ball and Miller headed the resulting corner over the bar.