Nantwich confirmed their place in the next round of the FA Trophy with a confident 2-1 victory against Bamber Bridge. Goals from Joel Stair and Troy Bourne saw the Dabbers come from behind to win at The Weaver Stadium.
The Dabbers started the game quietly, with Bamber Bridge enjoying the majority of possession early on. The Brig produced the first effort, with Adam Sumner firing a powerful left-footed effort from 20 yards out that inched just wide of the top corner.
The Brig’s early pressure eventually paid off, poor defending from the Dabbers saw the ball given away in the midfield, leaving Gary Pett time to unleash a screamer from 25 yards out, leaving Greg Hall with no chance.
Nantwich’s first goal came against the run of play. Matty Devine was pulled down, earning the Dabbers a free-kick in a dangerous position. Sean Cooke stepped up to loft a ball onto the un-marked head of Joel Stair, who made no error in nodding the ball into the back of the net.
The equaliser gave the Dabbers the confidence they needed to play their flowing style of football. On the half-an-hour mark, Troy Bourne grabbed his second goal in two games since coming back into the side. David Webb’s cross into from the left side into the box fell all the way to the back post, leaving the youngster to head the ball home from 3 yards.
Joe Malkin missed an opportunity to add to the Dabbers’ lead just before half-time, a well worked move between Josh Langley and Bourne saw Bourne lay it off to Malkin, however his effort was sent high over the bar.
Early in the second half, Bourne did well to knock down Malkin’s cross for skipper, Caspar Hughes’s to fire a half volley shot which bounced off the post.
The Dabbers remained the stronger side throughout the second half, doing well to control the ball in the middle of the field. Matty Devine’s speed down the left wing caused the Brig’s defence trouble, as he managed to forge himself space to float in a cross onto Malkin’s head. The eventual header looped just over the top of cross bar.
Nantwich are back in action on Saturday to make the long-trip to the North-East to take on league high-flyers, Whitby Town. The next game at the Weaver is on the 9th of November, when Dave Cooke’s men host AFC Fylde in what could be a historic FA Cup afternoon.
Nantwich Town: Greg Hall (GK), Troy Bourne, Matty Devine, Joel Stair. Josh Langley, Ben Harrison, James Lawrie, Caspar Hughes (C), Joe Malkin, Sean Cooke, David Webb
Subs not used: Joe Davis, Danny Read (GK), Luke Walsh, Clayton McDonald, Joe Mwasile, Valdemar Schousboe, Will Saxon
Goals: Joel Stair (21′), Troy Bourne (28′)
Bamber Bridge: Danny Roccia (GK), Matthew Thomson, Adam Sumner, Matt Lawler (C), Kieran Charnock, Daniel Wisdom, Alistair Waddecar, Danny Forbes (60′ Joseph Booth), Matthew Dudley, Gary Pett (76′ Calum Spooner), Chris Marlow (70, Christopher Churchman)
Subs not used: Phil Doughty, Lloyd Rigby (GK), Louis Hayes
Goals: Gary Pett (15′)
Referee: Mr M Scholes