Goals from captain Caspar Hughes and Sean Cooke maintain the Dabbers perfect start to the 2019/20 BetVictor Northern Premier campaign.

Casper Hughes well struck shot from the edge of the box gave Nantwich the lead in the 24th minute. Nantwich then doubled the lead with a Sean Cooke strike from a well worked corner in the 52nd minute. As the game progressed Buxton slowly got back into it and were rewarded when Buxton skipper Callum Chippendale headed home in the 80th minute. Despite the late pressure from Buxton Nantwich stood firm to seal the victory.

Nantwich got out the blocks early and forced an early corner in the first couple of minutes, Cooke found Lawrie on the edge of the box, Lawrie’s pass was blocked but got a second bite of the cherry forcing Grant Shenton to tip the ball over the bar for another corner. Nantwich this time found Sean Cooke on the edge, but his shot could only be cleared by the crowd of bodies in the 6-yard box.

Nantwich then had a better chance to take the lead when Nantwich built up some good possession and found Joe Mwasile down the left hand side, Joe’s fantastic cross was met by the diving header of Joe Malkin, but unfortunately couldn’t keep it down to trouble the Buxton goal.

The hosts who had been under large pressure from Nantwich for the first period of the game got their first chance to take the lead. Jude Oyibo took a quick free kick and played in Martin Pilkington down the right wing. His cross to the back post was met by the head of Alex Brown, who could only watch the ball hit the top of the cross bar, and safely out for a Nantwich goal kick.

Nantwich eventually took a deserved lead in the 24th minute. Casper Hughes who charged down the right-hand side, found Sean Cooke in midfield who quickly shifted the ball to Matty Devine down the left wing. Devine beautifully rounded Jude Oyibo and drilled his left footed cross into the heart of the penalty area, where skipper Casper Hughes was on hand to finish well in the bottom left corner.

Nantwich then earned a free kick 30 yards out however Cooke couldn’t quite strike with the power needed to trouble Shenton.

Nantwich should have doubled the lead in the 37th minute, after great defensive work by Joe Malkin the ball found its way to Cooke in the middle of the pitch. Cooke quickly played a through ball to the on-rushing Joe Mwasile with only Shenton to beat. Mwasile decided he would try round the keeper but unfortunately fluffed his lines with the ball falling kindly for a relieved Shenton in the Buxton goal.

Buxton tried to push for an equaliser late in the first half, despite strong defending from Nantwich Brad Roscoe found himself with a yard of space from 25 yards out, however his shot was comfortably saved by Greg Hall.

The Dabbers went into half time with a more than deserved lead having most the play in the first half and defended with composure when Buxton did get forward.

The second half started with neither team getting any control of the early exchanges in front of the announced attendance of 353. The Dabbers remained unchanged, but Buxton made a change with Kane Hickman replacing Ashley Young in the midfield.

Nantwich doubled the lead in the 52nd minute. Good work from Malkin and Hughes forced Buxton to concede a corner. Hughes took the resulting corner, which was drilled across the box, where Cooke was on hand to finish through a body of Buxton players.

Nantwich earned themselves another corner a couple of minutes later, Buxton couldn’t clear properly with Sean Cooke twice attempting to get his shot away, the ball loosely fell to Harrison just outside the box, but his effort went high and wide of the Buxton goal.

Another change for Buxton followed with Ryan Jennings replacing Diego De Girolamo.

As the half progressed, Buxton started to get more control of possession as they searched for a way back in the game. They had half a chance after good build up play, Buxton got the ball into the box with Harrison clearing the initial danger, however Jake Hibbs managed to get a shot towards goal only for it to be deflected off a Nantwich player for a Buxton corner.

Buxton made their final change with the well profiled striker Liam Hardy replacing Martin Pilkington up front to make his 200th Buxton appearance.

Nantwich then made their first and only change of the game with David Webb replacing Joe Mwasile.

Buxton finally got off the mark in the 80th minute after good build up play. Roscoe put in a cross from deep on the right-hand side, where Callum Chippendale nipped in ahead of Langley with a good header.

Buxton with their tails up after pulling a goal back started to threaten more, Chippendale had an effort to double his evenings tally with a shot from 25 yards with Hall having to tip his shot over for a corner kick.

Buxton with the resulting corner found Nico De Girolamo at the back post with his header going towards goal, Hall was once again forced to save and force another Buxton corner.
Chances for Nantwich were now limited in the late staged, however it could have been wrapped up when Nantwich cleared the ball from defence to find Sean Cooke. With Shenton charging towards the halfway line, Cooke attempted to lob Shenton but could only unfortunately see it drag wide.

Buxton continued to get forward as much as possible with Nico De Girolamo punting the ball into the Nantwich Box with Billy Priestley getting on the end of his ball but could only head to Hall who made another simple save.

Buxton’s had one last chance deep into injury time, when Shenton’s free kick from his own half was delivered into the Nantwich box only for the clearance to land to Brown who struck well from outside the box, his effort going towards goal then hit one of his own players who was offside which prompted the referee to blow the full time whistle.

Nantwich earned the 3 points with an excellent display of attacking threat for much of the first hour of the match. Then showed great character and defensive resolve with Buxton determined to get there way back in the game. The Dabbers finally win at Buxton for the first time since the 16th August 2015 and only the 2nd time since we both joined the Northern Premier League.

With no game on Saturday due to Stalybridge Celtic’s participation in the Preliminary Round of the FA Cup, attentions now move to the much anticipated Bank Holiday Monday derby with Cheshire rivals Witton Albion at the The Weaver Stadium, where Nantwich will be looking to make it 3 out of 3.

Referee: Ben Wyatt

Buxton: 1. Shenton, 2. Roscoe, 3. Brown, 4. N. De Girolamo, 5. Priestley, 6. Young (16. Hickman – 46’), 7. Chippendale ©, 8. Hibbs, 9. D. De Girolamo (12. Jennings – 61’), 10. Pilkington (14. Hardy – 73’), 11. Oyibo

Unused Subs:
15. Grayson, 17. McQuade

Goals:
Chippendale (80’)

Booked:
Chippendale

Nantwich Town: 1. Hall, 2. Hughes ©, 3. Devine, 4. Davis, 5. Langley, 6. Harrison, 7. Mwasile (12. Webb – 75’), 8. Bell, 9. Malkin, 10. Cooke, 11. Lawrie

Unused Subs:
14. Bourne, 15. Saxon, 16. Walsh, 17 Boyle

Goals:
Hughes (24’), Cooke (52’)