Photo by Steven Holliday

Nantwich fell to their first defeat of the season with a 2-0 loss to Whitby Town in North Yorkshire.

The game was defined by big moments and most of these went the hosts’ way today. The first example of this came in the first 10 minutes, Troy Bourne finding space down the right and putting in a good low cross that was scuffed towards goal by Shaun Miller (pictured above). A firmer contact and it may have been a very different match.

Thommy and the returning Matty Devine combined down the left but ended up getting in each other’s way as they both tried to get a shot in.

On 20 minutes, Whitby took the lead in some style. A run towards the ball by Liam Cooke managed to draw out Josh Langley from his centre back position, meaning when the ball reached Jacob Hazel, Bourne was scrambling to cover.

The confusion made a bit of space for Hazel, who according to the Whitby staff is ‘all left foot’, and proved it with a fantastic strike into the top left corner which left Cameron Terry no chance.

Prince Haywood dragged a shot wide from just outside the box shortly after, before centre-back Lewis Ritson made the first of several marauding runs forward and hit straight at Terry.

Hazel was threatening the Dabbers goal once more not long before half-time, curling narrowly wide off that left foot again from the right side.

Then Thommy got a snapshot on target from a narrow angle to test Shane Bland just before the half-time whistle.

10 minutes into the second half, Whitby doubled their lead. The rapid Josh MacDonald had been giving Devine a torrid time down the Whitby right, leading to two players marking him whenever he got on the ball.

This time though, he was able to isolate Devine, who backed off him having been scarred before, meaning he could fire a low shot in past Terry who may have been unsighted by the defender.

Another big moment didn’t go the Dabbers way on the hour mark, substitute David Webb squaring the ball across the face of goal for Callum Saunders who missed his touch, and it surely would have been a goalscoring one.

Whitby right back Nathan Dyer forced a good save from Terry with what was a goalbound effort, before the game ended badly for the Dabbers.

Caspar Hughes was sent off on 78 minutes after two quick yellow cards for fouls on Hazel.

His frustration can be traced back to an incident around the time of the second goal. Hazel had a firm hold of Hughes’ shirt, so firm in fact that a large tear could be seen down the middle of it afterwards. Not even a foul was awarded by the referee Michael Burrows, who dismayed both sets of fans throughout with a seeming over-reliance on his assistants to make decisions for him.

All in all, a day to forget for the Dabbers, but a chance to make it right quickly against Matlock on Tuesday night.

Teams

Whitby Town: Bland, Dyer, Sukar, Griffiths, Ritson, Rowe, MacDonald (Hackett, 71), Hawkins, Hazel, Giles (Fewster, 65), Cooke (Shepherd, 73)

Subs not used: Burn, Gell

Goals: Hazel (20), MacDonald (56)

Nantwich Town: Terry, Bourne, Devine, Harrison, Langley, Hughes, Haywood (Hatton, 64), Lawrie (Webb, 50), Miller, Cooke, Thommy (Saunders, 59)

Subs not used: Thompson, Walsh

Red card: Hughes, 78

Attendance: 416