Sean Cooke 9′, James Lawrie 82′ (p)
Daniel Powell 58′
- Greg Hall
- Caspar Hughes
- Matty Devine
- Joe Davis
- Josh Langley
- Troy Bourne
- James Lawrie
- Matt Bell
- Joe Malkin
- Sean Cooke
- Luke Walsh
Joe Mwasile for Will Saxon (59′)
Luke Walsh for Sean Cooke (66′)
Josh Williams for Matty Devine (73′)
David Webb for Josh Langley (75′)
Harry Goode for Matt Bell (75′)
Niall Cope for Caspar Hughes (81′)
By Liam Price:
The ever-popular annual friendly between Nantwich and local rivals Crewe Alexandra comes around again this Saturday, the difference this year being that it is both clubs’ first pre-season fixture. A big crowd is expected as David Artell and his players visit the Weaver Stadium.
Name: Crewe Alexandra
Nickname: The Alex/The Railwaymen
Manager: David Artell
Ground: Alexandra Stadium/Gresty Road
Last Season: 12th (EFL League Two)
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly – Barry Daly Memorial Trophy
Stadium: Weaver Stadium, Waterlode, Nantwich, CW5 5BS
Kick-off: 3pm, Saturday 6th July
Admission: Adults: £8, Concessions: £5, U16s: £2 (or free with a paying adult)
Last Time Out
The last official meeting between the two teams came in January, with the Dabbers coming out victorious in the Cheshire Senior Cup tie at Gresty Road. Two goals from Callum Saunders combined with some great goalkeeping from Fabian Spiess helped Dave Cooke’s side to an impressive 2-1 win. Last summer’s friendly fixture between the two was a little less successful, with a 1-0 win for the Alex at the Weaver Stadium but a largely positive performance from the Dabbers.
A Fitting Tribute
This year’s friendly carries some extra significance and emotion after it was announced that this and every future Nantwich/Crewe fixture would be contested for the Barry Daly Memorial Trophy. Barry’s death last month at the age of 63 was a big blow to both Crewe and the wider community, his popularity eclipsing the club he worked for to ensure he was loved and will be missed across the whole local area. Nantwich Director of Football Clive Jackson said that he ‘can’t think of a more fitting tribute to him than for the two clubs to play for a memorial trophy in his name.’
Both sides have been recruiting new players over the summer and fans will be excited to get a first
look at some of the signings. The Dabbers are expected to give time to their three new faces, full-back Matty Devine and experienced goalkeeper Greg Hall, both from Witton Albion, and young midfielder Will Saxon, most recently at Kidsgrove Athletic.
Meanwhile, Crewe have also brought in couple of new players as they seek to build on a respectable
top half finish in League Two last season. Centre-back Olly Lancashire has joined from Swindon and Daniel Powell has added to the Alex’s wing options from Northampton. They are also expected to field a number of trialists on Saturday, including Spanish midfielder Lassana Mendes, currently at Welsh outfit Colwyn Bay but with experience of the Spanish Second Division.
View From Each Camp
“It’s the first time in many years this is the first friendly of the summer for both clubs, which is always an exciting time for supporters. We’re looking forward to it.”
Director of Football, Nantwich Town
“We have a few lads on trial and we’ll try to give everyone a game. They’ll need to play in a game, and we need to see them for long enough to make sure we’ve had a good look at them.”
Manager, Crewe Alexandra
By Liam Price:
A late penalty from James Lawrie was enough to snatch a memorable 2-1 victory for Nantwich over local rivals Crewe Alexandra in both sides’ first pre-season outing ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
This year’s running of the friendly was tinged with emotion as it was the first to be played for the Barry Daly Memorial Trophy, in memory of ‘Big Baz’, a loyal and loved member of the Crewe Alex family who passed away last month.
The Dabbers started confidently, and were rewarded in spectacular style. Sean Cooke received the ball on the left hand side in the eighth minute, drove forward and unleashed a brilliant strike from 25 yards out that flew into the top right hand corner, Crewe keeper Dave Richards at full stretch could not get close.
Nantwich’s well organised defence mostly restricted the Alex to shots from distance, Callum Ainley and a couple of trialists guilty of wayward efforts.
There were opportunities for Nantwich to deservedly increase their lead before the break. Firstly, a fine whipped cross from Caspar Hughes was headed firmly against the post by Joe Malkin with the keeper again beaten.
Then, just before the half hour mark, Malkin flashed the ball across the penalty area and debutant Will Saxon could not stretch far enough to divert the ball in.
Crewe’ best chance of the first half came from trialist Lassana Mendes who headed straight at another debutant, keeper Greg Hall.
The Alex changed their entire XI at half time and it didn’t take long for the new team to fire up. A well-worked move opened up space for Perry Ng to cross for Daniel Powell to score from close range on his Crewe debut after signing from Northampton Town.
The away side began to control possession more as the second half progressed but chances were hard to come by, Harry Pickering seeing two attempts well blocked.
As the Dabbers made more substitutions, the game did lose its rhythm. But just as it looked if the
game would head to penalties, a mix up in the Crewe defence changed the game. An apparent miscommunication between substitute goalkeeper Will Jaaskelainen and Eddie Nolan saw the ball ricochet to Malkin, who was then brought down by Jaaskelainen and won a penalty. It was James Lawrie who stepped up and expertly sent Jaaskelainen the wrong way, giving the Dabbers a memorable lead once more.
A snapshot from Powell was the Alex’s best chance to snatch an equaliser but it zipped off target, as did a shot on the rebound from Lowery, but they could not find a leveller and the Dabbers held on for an excellent victory to kick off the pre-season.
After the game, Nantwich captain Hughes was awarded the inaugural Barry Daly Memorial Trophy by Nantwich chairman, Clive Jackson, Crewe chairman John Bowler, and Barry’s widow Judith, who was a guest of honour alongside other members of his family, as both teams watched and remembered their much-missed friend.