Post-match controversy overshadowed what was a competitive and entertaining advert for the BetVictor Northern Premier Division as Nantwich Town fell to narrow defeat at home to FC United of Manchester.

Despite a strong start to the game that saw Sean Cooke come close on a few occasions, it was the visitors’ Aaron Morris who would head home the only goal of the game just a few minutes before half-time.

Dave Cooke would make two changes to the side that played out a scoreless draw with Lancaster City, as James Lawrie and Ethon Varian were replaced by Troy Bourne and Joe Malkin.

The Dabbers would have the first half-chance of the game, as Matty Devine fired a shot over the bar after Cooke had nudged it through the defender’s legs.

A minute later, David Webb found Sean Cooke in the box, but the midfielder’s snap-shot was just wide of the far post.

Cooke would probably have the best chance of the game after eight minutes, as the midfielder’s shot was straight down the throat of the FC United goalkeeper Cameron Belford.

The first chance for the visitors came for the league top goalscorer Tunde Owolabi, as a counter-attack found the striker, but Prince Haywood would be able to step in front of the attacker.

Soon after, Joe Mwasile received the ball on the edge of the box, before side-stepping inside and hitting it just wide of the top-right corner.

Regan Linney for the visitors hit one abruptly that went over the bar after a nice one-two in the FC United midfield.

On the half-hour mark, Haywood flicked the ball over the head of Belford, but there was nobody to turn the ball home.

On the forty-third minute, a corner into the box found the head of Aaron Morris, who put the ball past Hall as FC United took the lead.

That would be the final action of the first half, as the Dabbers trailed at the break.

The Dabbers would make the first change of the game as Ricardo Fuller replaced David Webb.

Mwasile would have the first chance of the second period, as Fuller flicked it back to Cooke, who found Mwasile, but the winger’s strike was straight at Cameron Belford. Fuller was involved in another chance soon after as he knocked it back for Prince Haywood, but the midfielder’s shot was wide.

A shot from distance for the visitors dipped deceivingly, which had Greg Hall slightly flustered, but the keeper did well to tip it over the bar for a corner which was dealt with by the Dabbers.

Just past the hour mark, both Troy Bourne and Caspar Hughes came close with neat balls into both men, but the scoreline remained the same.

Sean Cooke had an effort twenty minutes before the end after Fuller back-heeled it back to the midfielder; his effort required a fingertip save from Belford to turn it past the post.

The next twenty minutes or so passed without event, before a free-kick on the edge of the box, but Cooke’s effort was wide.

That would be the final action of the evening in the constraints of the game, but there was controversy after the game as a clash between the two sides spilled into the tunnel, with goalkeeper Greg Hall given a red card after the game for a confrontation with FC United manager Neil Reynolds.

The Dabbers look to return to winning ways this weekend as they host Mickleover Sports this Saturday.

Nantwich Town: Greg Hall, Troy Bourne, Matty Devine, Joel Stair, Josh Langley, Caspar Hughes, Prince Haywood, David Webb (Ricardo Fuller 46′), Joe Malkin (Callum Saunders 78′), Sean Cooke, Joe Mwasile

Subs not used: Will Saxon, Ben Harrison, Ethon Varian

Yellow Cards: Joe Mwasile, Ricardo Fuller

Red Cards: Greg Hall (after match)

Goals: N/A

FC United of Manchester: Cameron Belford, Ben Kerr (Matthew Elsdon 63′), Adam Dodd, Aaron Morris, Chris Doyle, Curtis Jones, Morgan Homson-Smith (Paul Ennis 90′), Mike Potts, Tunde Owolabi, Luke Griffiths, Regan Linney (Daniel Trickett-Smith 51′)

Subs not used: Jack Lenehan, Larnell Cole

Yellow Cards: Adam Dodd, Tunde Owolabi

Red Cards: N/A

Goals: Aaron Morris (43′)

Attendance: 580

Referee: Mr Alex James

Man of the Match: Josh Langley