A Kieran Brown hat-trick helped Hanley Town to a 4-3 victory over Nantwich Town at Potteries Park.
Connor Heath, Sean Cooke and Troy Bourne got on the score-sheet for the Dabbers but it wasn’t quite enough in terrible weather in Staffordshire.
Both teams traded low crosses that caused trouble for the goalkeepers early on, Mike Koral sliding one wide inside the first 10 minutes for Nantwich.
In the next phase, Hanley opened the scoring, a ball in from the left caused some confusion in the Dabbers defence and Brown was there to finish on what would be a great night for him.
Heath looked the most likely to make something happen for Nantwich in the first half, his powerful running first resulting in a shot that was pulled wide, then later forcing Hanley keeper Lawrence to rush off his line to clear as Heath bared down on him.
A well-worked move between Bourne and Cooke on the Nantwich left was helped along by a strong run by Aaron Burns, he found Cooke who whipped a shot narrowly over.
Cooke again tested Lawrence a few minutes later but the keeper held well in the monsoon-like conditions.
It was a free-kick just before the half-hour that brought Hanley’s second. It looked a debatable foul, but regardless it was hit towards goal and looked to move in the swirling wind, meaning James Hawkins could only palm away to Brown who bagged his and his team’s second.
There was almost an instant reply from the Dabbers, Cooke took advantage of the lack of a Hanley wall to hit a vicious shot from a 35-yard free kick that bounced down off the crossbar and away.
Then suddenly it was 3-0, Hanley attacking down the right and after a scramble, Nathan Okome tried a low shot that zipped off the slick surface and nestled in the bottom corner.
Luck finally went the Dabbers’ way a few minutes later, with Heath getting the goal his performance deserved, tapping in from a low cut-back from the right.
The second half got going for Nantwich with a Ben Harrison header that Lawrence nearly carried over his own line.
Another scramble involving second half subs Callum Saunders and Joe Malkin both trying to force the ball in was fended off well by Lawrence.
Malkin had a good headed chance from a James Lawrie corner a few minutes later but couldn’t get the right contact and it cleared the bar.
A mishit clearance from Harrison helped to play in Brown who spurned the first chance of his hat-trick by slicing an attempted lob wide, in the clearest example of how the weather was affecting the play.
Sean Cooke brought the game back to 3-2 with a majestic curling finish from the left, using the wind to his advantage, only he will know if he meant it but it looked fantastic nonetheless.
Brown did get his hat-trick 10 minutes later, cutting in from the right and unleashing a low shot that beat substitute keeper Greg Hall.
Lawrie almost reduced the deficit to one again straight away, running on to a lay-off and blasting a shot that was saved brilliantly by Lawrence.
And Malkin was again thwarted by a combination of the Hanley defence and keeper, seeing a double effort smothered away.
The Dabbers did eventually get a third, Mike Koral pulled back to his fellow full-back Bourne who poked in at the near post, but the clock was against the away side and there wasn’t enough time for an equaliser on a frustrating night for the Dabbers, who will look to put it right at Whitchurch this weekend.
Hanley Town: Lawrence, Faulkner, Langridge, Anthony, Woodroffe, Ashton, Sanders (Cope, 77), Okome (Lymer, 85), Thompson, Needham, Brown (Thompson, 75)
Goals: Brown (11, 27, 74), Okome (33)
Nantwich Town: Hawkins (Hall, 67) , Koral, Bourne, Stair (Farleigh, 66), Harrison, Langley, Lawrie, Haywood, Burns (Malkin, 46), Cooke, Heath (Saunders, 46)
Goals: Heath (34), Cooke (64), Bourne (87)