The Dabbers returned to winning ways this weekend after an emphatic turnaround in the second half against Scarborough Athletic at the Weaver Stadium. Three goals in under six minutes, including a screamer from skipper Casper Hughes, saw Nantwich take the lead with nine minutes to go, after previously trailing by two goals.
A quick double in the first quarter of the game saw the Seadogs take the lead, thanks to cool strikes from Luke Lofts and ex-Northern Premier Division top goalscorer James Walshaw.
However, a pair of Nantwich substitutions at the break allowed a change in shape and Dave Cooke’s men reaped the rewards, besting the visitors for the second half and finding the net through centre-back Josh Langley’s first strike for the club, as well as goals from Joe Malkin and skipper Hughes.
After a high intensity start to the game, the first chance fell to Nantwich’s way as Hughes whipped in a fine cross to back post which narrowly missed the towering figure of Joe Malkin.
On the turn of the ninth minute, Paul Walker managed to find himself on the edge of the box and looked to curl an effort into the top right corner. His effort looked to be nestling into the stanchion but instead cannoned against the inside of the post and went out for a goal kick.
Only minutes later, Hughes’s clever corner found Sean Cooke running in and his shot was saved well by Thomas Taylor in the Scarborough goal.
Scarborough’s first came as Coulson beat his man down the right wing, leaving him with space to drive a low cross across goal. The cross was met by Luke Lofts who charging in and directed his effort towards goal, and his shot couldn’t be stopped by Greg Hall in goal.
Straight from the restart, Scarborough’s high intensity press meant that Chris Dawson was able to intercept a rogue pass in the middle of the park. He then found James Walshaw who was left one-on-one with the goalkeeper and he slotted the ball into the bottom corner nicely.
The quickfire double gave Scarborough a burst of confidence and what followed was a barrage of efforts for the Seadogs, which left Nantwich having to weather the storm for a brief spell.
As the Dabbers looked to force a way back into the game, Cooke’s freekick was floated into the box and was met by Valdemar Schousboe whose header towards goal was finely saved by Taylor.
Not long before half time, a goalmouth scramble looked sure to put ‘Boro 3-0 up, however Nantwich somehow managed to get men on the line to stop the game being finished early on.
The Dabbers began the second half with a lot more energy in their bid for a comeback, with early effort from half time substitute Luke Walsh having an early effort which was saved easily from Taylor in the goal.
Nantwich were unlucky to not get a goal back with twenty minutes to go. A long kick from Greg Hall was flicked on by Joe Malkin, who subsequently found substitute Joe Mwasile, but his shot was saved by Taylor charging out. The rebound effort from Malkin looked sure to be going in, but was stopped on the line by the Scarborough defence.
After consistent pressure from the Dabbers, their reward finally came. James Lawrie and Walsh worked together well down the left wing. Lawrie’s cross was lifted into the middle and just missed Malkin’s head, bounced off Mwasile and fell to Josh Langley who smashed the ball home for his first goal in a Nantwich shirt.
Similarly to Scarborough, Nantwich’s second came in quick succession. David Webb’s powerful cross across the face of goal found Malkin charging in at the back post and left with an easy tap in.
And only minutes later the Dabbers took the lead. Fantastic footwork from Caspar Hughes left him with room from twenty-five yards out, and his effort rocketed into the top right corner leaving Taylor with no chance.
With just seconds to go, Paul Walker advanced forward with the ball and played it through to Coulson who couldn’t quite control the ball before Greg Hall was at his feet to make an important tackle – the final action of a pulsating quarter-of-an-hour.
Nantwich Town will return to action this Saturday as they make the short trip to Shropshire to take on AFC Telford United in the Emirates FA Cup Second Round Qualifying, for a 3pm kick-off. Supporters are reminded that tickets will not be available to be bought on the gate – tickets can be purchased from Telford’s website.
Nantwich Town: Greg Hall, Caspar Hughes (C), Matty Devine, Joe Davis, Josh Langley, Ben Harrison, James Lawrie, David Webb, Joe Malkin, Sean Cooke (Luke Walsh 46′), Valdemar Schousboe (Joe Mwasile 46′, (Matt Bell 85′))
Unused Subs: Troy Bourne, Joel Stair
Goals: Josh Langley (76′), Joe Malkin (79′), Caspar Hughes (81′)
Yellow Cards: James Lawrie
Scarborough Athletic: Thomas Taylor, T’Nique Fishley (David Merris 80′), Wayne Brooksby, Ryan Watson, Jack Johnson, Isaac Assenso, Luke Lofts, Chris Dawson (Kian Spence 41′), James Walshaw (Will Annan 64′), Michael Coulson (C), Paul Walker
Unused Subs: Daniel Lowe, Tom Morgan
Goals: Luke Lofts (15′), James Walshaw (16′)
Yellow Cards: Thomas Taylor
Referee: Mr C Porter