The Dabbers welcomed Buxton to The Optimum Pay Stadium on Saturday as they looked to bounce back following Tuesday’s loss at Warrington Town.
The visitors began the game on the front foot, and they had their first opportunity after just two minutes. Former Derby and Nottingham Forest forward Jamie Ward cut in from the right side and his curled effort forced a good save from Matty Gould in the Nantwich goal Ten minutes later, The Dabbers had a chance of their own as Shaun Miller crossed from the right side, but it was inches too high for Joe Malkin who failed to get a good connection.
Despite not seeing much of the ball in the early exchanges, The Dabbers took the lead on the 20-minute mark. Malkin and Miller linked up nicely on the edge of the box before Miller beautifully curled a strike inside the far post to give Nantwich the lead against the run of play.
The Bucks looked to hit back straight away as Ward once again took aim from distance but his shot was poor and it bobbled wide of the post.
At the break, The Dabbers would have been pleased with their performance, despite not seeing much of the ball they had taken their chances and defended solidly to keep Buxton chances at a premium
Five minutes after the break the visitors had their best opportunity as Heaney got in behind, but as he closed in on goal Matty Gould rushed off his line to close the angle and and save well.
Ten minutes after the break, Heaney was at the heart of the action as he was pulled down in the box by Bell and the referee pointed to the spot. Jamie Ward stepped up and saw his penalty saved but the rebound fell kindly, and he blasted home the rebound.
Six minutes later, Buxton had another penalty as they caught The Dabbers on the counter, Gilchrist found himself in on goal before he was tripped by Gould and once the again the referee pointed to the spot. This time Jamie Ward stepped up and made no mistake and he sent the keeper the wrong way as he rolled home to give his side the lead.
After leaving for the majority of the game, The Dabbers now found themselves behind after giving away two sloppy penalties in the first fifteen minutes of the second period. All of a sudden, the momentum was with the visitors who looked to add more to their tally to put the game to bed. They came inches away from adding a third when Chris Dawson took aim from 25 yards and crashed a a strike off the upright before it cleared away.
With ten minutes of the game to go, Buxton added a third and put the game to bed. Mackenzie Heaney had been The Bucks stand out player in the second half, and he scored a deserved goal when his long-range strike took a deflection and looped over the helpless Gould, before bouncing off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net.
It really was a game of two halves, in the first half The Dabbers got their goal, and they weren’t really troubled by Buxton, but a second half change of formation helped The Bucks get back into the game and go back to Derbyshire with all three points.
After the game Nantwich Town assistant manager Jay Batemans said “We’re really disappointed. The first half we looked good; Shaun Miller scored a great goal. We said to the lads at half time that they have to keep going.”
“Sometimes the half time break kills you. When you’re playing really well, but we said to the lads that the first 15 minutes of the second half is crucial and within 16 minutes we’re 2-1 down after conceding two penalties. So yeah, it’s a difficult one to take”
“To be fair to Buxton their changed their shape at the break and we didn’t cope with it like we did in the first half, they had a back four first half but when they changed to a 3 at the back, they had more joy down the flanks. So fair play to Steve (Cunningham) he changed their shape, and we couldn’t get to grips with it”