Late Cooke strike helps Dabbers get back to winning ways

After three losses in a row The Dabbers were looking to get back to winning ways as they made the short trip to local rivals Witton Albion.

The game took a while to get going, both sides were void of confidence after both enduring a winless spell. The first real chance came after 26 minutes when Carlos Montefiori crossed form the left and found Sean Cooke who headed straight at former Dabbers keeper Greg Hall from six yards out. Five minutes later Cooke was heavily involved in a Nantwich attack again as he linked up well with Joel Stair and Luke Walsh, as the latter crossed into the Witton box, Cooke met it with another header but once again it was straight at Greg Hall.

The hosts had a good opportunity themselves in the 43rd minute as Jawad Jebrin broke free before finding James Hooper who looked to pull the trigger but Prince Haywood’s excellently timed tackle prevented the Albion forward from unleashing a shot towards goal.

The referee blew his whistle to conclude a pretty eventful first half, both managers knew that a little bit of quality would win the game for their side.

Dabbers manager Dave Cooke bought on Theo Stair at half time to try and spark the game into life. In the 56th minute he made an impact as he showed good feet down the left side to make space for a cross that found Sean Cooke who once again hit his effort straight at Greg Hall.

In the 64th minute James Hooper came close once again after he bent a free-kick round the wall but he couldn’t quite get a enough bend on it as it nestled into the side netting and behind for a goal kick.

Sean Cooke was causing real problems for the Witton back line. In the 75th minute he broke free of the midfield before shooting from the edge of the box but Hall saved well at the second attempt.

In the 82nd minute the Dabbers finally took the lead. Theo Stair found the overlapping Matty Devine down the left side, before Devine crossed low for Cooke who bundled home after a small goal-mouth scramble. That was Nantwich’s first goal in 352 minutes so it’s no wonder Cooke ran over to the travelling Dabbers to celebrate with them!

Joel Stair came close to doubling his sides lead in the 88th minute but he couldn’t direct his header on goal.

The referee blew his whistle to conclude the game and after three losses in a row, The Dabbers were finally back to winning ways. It wasn’t a classic Nantwich Town performance but it shows that they can dig in for 90 minutes and come out the other side with three points which would have delighted Nantwich manager Dave Cooke.

Next up for Nantwich is the FA Cup First Qualifying Round fixture where they host Grantham Town on Saturday 4th November.