Despite captain Caspar Hughes’ early goal for the Dabbers, a Stuart Beavon brace saw that Nantwich Town returned to South Cheshire empty-handed from a cold January afternoon at the Don Amott Arena.
While the Dabbers will have wanted to maintain their form after two derby victories on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Dave Cooke’s side fell to their fifth away defeat of the campaign.
The Dabbers could have taken a very early lead, as Joe Mwasile pulled it back for Sean Cooke, but the midfielder couldn’t get his foot round the quick-paced cross.
But it was Hughes who gave the Dabbers the lead after nine minutes, as, after a superb reading of the play, the skipper nicked the ball off the Sports’ defender before guiding the ball across his body and into the bottom-left corner.
However, Mickleover got back in the game in the eighteenth minute after a moment of brilliance from ex-Burton Albion forward Stuart Beavon, as he won the ball thirty yards from goal, cut inside onto his right foot and struck it from distance, and it reached the top-right corner – a goal that many top goalkeepers would struggle to save.
Matty Devine had a strike on the half-hour mark that didn’t trouble goalkeeper Nathan Broome.
In added time, Devine dragged it back to Mwasile who couldn’t get a solid shot away.
That would be how the first-half concluded, with both sides even.
There were shouts for a Mickleover penalty on the hour mark, as Patrick Webb for the hosts was brought down, but despite manager John McGrath encroaching onto the pitch by five yards, the referee waved away the protests.
However, the hosts wouldn’t have to wait long to take the lead, as Beavon completed the comeback just past the hour mark, as, despite an initial save from Greg Hall, the Dabbers couldn’t prevent the experienced frontman popping up again and punching the shot home.
Twenty-five minutes from time, Beavon could have had his hat-trick, but he flicked his shot past the far post after a neat ball into the box.
Caspar Hughes may have nicked one back for the Dabbers after seventy-seven minutes, but the skipper’s shot was ever-so-slightly high-and-wide of the top corner after really good work on the run.
However, the Dabbers really should have been back on the scoresheet with seven minutes remaining, as Joe Mwasile pounced on a loose ball, hitting the inside of the post, but Nathan Broome was able to dive on the shot before the Dabbers could scramble it home.
In the last effort of the game, Sean Cooke hit one from the edge of the box that was saved by Broome, as the Dabbers’ inconsistency on the road threw up another roadblock to what had looked to be the start of a neat run of form.