After seeing their lead in the recent game away to South Shields disappear, Nantwich were determined to not see anything of the sort happen in this local derby at home against Witton Albion.

From the get go this was a game that was one that both sides wanted and needed to win, if either were going to help themselves to survive this season.

Witton looked to start off on the front foot, and less than a minute into the game, they had a call for a penalty after a handball in the Nantwich penalty area, thankfully for all the home side fans, it was not given, and play was to continue.

After that Jake Bickerstaff responded with shot that was very well blocked on the edge of the Witton penalty area.

Both teams had set their stall out here, and seven minutes into the game, there was a huge let off for the Dabbers, as after a really good move, Jessse Dowling finished very well to put the ball past Gould, only for the off side flag to go up, and to rescue Nantwich.

From there, the first half became a bit more cagey, with both teams’ defence being on top of things, and very few good chances for either side, however by far the best one came to the home side.

After their own brilliant move, a cross came in from the left hand side, and Jamie Morgan was sensationally saved by Hall in the Witton goal, to keep it goalless.

Just before the break, James Foley for Witton took a corner, which went over Gould’s head, and hit the bar, before going over, so that was another let off.

As the half time whistle went, both sides could perhaps consider themselves unlucky to not be ahead.

Whatever Dave Cooke said at half time, seemed to really work, as come the second half, Nantwich really took the game to the visitors, as first of all Casper Hughes had a shot that was deflected into Hall’s hands, then Sean Cooke very nearly scored with a tremendous free-kick from just outside the Witton penalty area.

The home side were definitely on top of things, and it wasn’t any surprise after a good bit of hassling in midfield, and a lovely through ball, to Cockerline, who had come on for Shaun Miller in the first half, die to an injury, put the Dabbers ahead, with a lovely chip over the onrushing Greg Hall.


That sparked delight amongst the home fans, and that seemed to drain the life out of Witton, as they didn’t have too much to answer to that.

The ever dangerous Callum Saunders, who the home fans remember very well, had a few close chances, including one that right before full time, that he blazed well over the bar.

However, Nantwich saw the game out, and picked up the huge three points, to ease their own relegation worries, for one night at the very least.

The game finished with a 1-0 win for Nantwich.

After the game, man of the match Troy Bourne, responsible for a vital block late on, spoke of it being ‘huge for the team’.

He said: “It might not have been the prettiest but we fought to the end and got the three points we deserved.”

On Cockerline’s goal, Bourne said: “He’s been doing that all season, popping up in those situations.”

“Every game from now to the end of the season is massive, it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, we need to put in the effort like we’ve had tonight.”