Nantwich Town returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Grantham Town at the Weaver Stadium.
Goals from Joe Mwasile and Sean Cooke capped fine performances from both as the Dabbers shook off the cup blues of the last week.
The first half was a much improved attacking performance from the Dabbers. Valdemar Schousboe, coming in for the injured Joe Malkin, was a brilliant target man, holding up the long balls that came into him and allowing others to join the attacks.
There was a penalty shout for the visitors on ten minutes, Kieran Wells went down after a challenge from behind from Troy Bourne, the referee saying no foul.
That decision seemed to spark the Dabbers into life, and on 15 minutes the first Nantwich opportunity arrived. It came from the left hand side, the industrious Matty Devine driving forwards and pulling the ball back to Sean Cooke, his effort was blocked away but these were positive signs.
Just two minutes later, Nantwich were rewarded for upping the tempo of the game. Joe Mwasile led a break from a Grantham cross, and from the left hand side he drove at the defence,who backed away. Mwasile took the chance expertly, firing into the top corner on his left foot, the kind of individual brilliance we all know he is capable of.
The Dabbers continued to push for a second, but needed to remain wary of Grantham’s aerial threat, which was shown as a long throw was flicked on by Wells to captain Craig Westcarr who hit over when leaning back.
On 35 minutes, another Dabbers counter could perhaps have brought a second goal, Caspar Hughes and Mwasile leading it, the latter squaring to Cooke who again saw his shot charged down.
As the interval approached, Wells spurned a golden chance to level. An up-and-under ball into the box was dropped by Greg Hall, who was still recovering from a knock he’d received moments earlier, and Wells managed to hit the post with the goal at his mercy. This was a big let-off for the Dabbers going into the break.
The second half carried on in much the same vein as the first, and it didn’t take long for the Dabbers to double the lead after the restart.
Nine minutes into the second half, a long ball from Hall was brought down by Mwasile, who made inroads down the right hand side and pulled it back for Sean Cooke, who curled a beautiful shot past the despairing Kanuric.
The goal was made better by it being both a first time finish and the ball being slightly behind Cooke when he hit it, a goal that signifies Cooke’s return to form over the last couple of matches.
A few minutes later, Schousboe led yet another counter and went himself when Mwasile was clean through on goal, Schousboe’s eventual shot was saved by Kanuric.
Late efforts from Mwasile and Cooke could have extended the lead before the returning Ricardo Fuller made his second Dabbers debut.
It could have been a dream return in the last ten minutes, as Fuller was played through and tried an ambitious lob over the keeper, it lacked both the height and distance required for the wondergoal, but by then the three points were secured as was a second two goal victory over Grantham this season .
Nantwich Town: Greg Hall, Troy Bourne, Matty Devine, Joel Stair, Josh Langley (Will Saxon 65′), Joe Davis, Joe Mwasile (Luke Walsh 75′), Caspar Hughes (C), Valdemar Schousboe (Ricardo Fuller 76′), Sean Cooke, David Webb.
Subs not used: Ben Harrison, Steven Ziboth-Mengba
Goals: Joe Mwasile 17′, Sean Cooke 54′
Grantham Town: Adnan Kanuric, Adam Smith, Connor Bartle, Rob Atkinson, Brad McGowan, Charlie Ward, James Berrett (Remaye Campbell, 59), Declan Dunn, Craig Westcarr (C), Kieran Wells (Rodrigo Gonçalves, 76), Francisco Zoko (Michael Tweed, 59).
Subs not used: Sam Andrew (GK), Jack McGovern