Heartbreak for young Dabbers as they crash out on penalties 

Nantwich Town suffered penalty heartbreak as they lose 4-1 on penalties after drawing 1-1 after 90 minutes. 

The Dabbers got off to the best possible start in their FA Youth Cup Preliminary round tie against Wythenshawe Amateurs, as they took the lead after just 42 seconds. Nantwich skipper Callum Parker lofted a cross into the box from the right side, however much to the keepers surprise it crashed off the crossbar before falling to Kamil Ryszka who tapped home the rebound from close range to give his side an early lead. 

Moments after going behind the home side came inches away from levelling the tie. A corner from the left was met by Billy Sanders who saw his header crash off the top of the bar before going behind for a corner.

Despite being a goal down Wythenshawe were very much on top in the first 20 minutes of the match. They made their pressure count in the 17th minute as a teasing ball from the left side wasn’t cleared by the Dabbers back four which meant that Regan Hampson was able to powerfully head home at the back post to level the scores for his side.

After a frantic first 20 minutes, the game seemed to die down as both sides looked to get the ball down and take control of the ball. Dabbers skipper Callum Parker was next to try his luck as he cut inside from the left and let fly, but unfortunately for his shot was weak and easy for the keeper to hold. 

In the 42nd minute the referee awarded Nantwich a rare in-direct free kick as the Wythenshawe keeper dropped the ball to take his kick off the floor, before picking it back up again as he was under pressure. Obviously the rules state that this is illegal and the Dabbers has a chance to go in front from just inside the area. Joel Jennings ran over the ball and rolled it back to Parker who tried to place it into the  far right corner, however his strike was  straight at the keeper who palmed it away to safety. 

At half time the scores were level, both sides would have been disappointed with the way they played in the first 45, however with plenty to play for you couldn’t blame them for being nervous.

The second period started much the like the first ended. Both sides were struggling to maintain possession and get a foothold in the game. The only real effort of danger in the first 15 minutes of the second half was a free kick from Ryan Chevannes who got his effort over the wall but then straight into the arms of the Amateurs keeper. 

As the clock ticked down it looked like it was going to be penalties that would have to separate the two sides, however with 17 minutes to go the home side had a golden opportunity to take the lead as a deep cross from the right was met by an unmarked Matthew Cleary at the back post who saw his header go wide of the left post. He really should have done better with his effort.

Minutes later, it was the Dabbers turn to go close as second half substitute Kyle Brandreth raced into the Wythenshawe box, beating three defenders on his way to goal, however unfortunately for him, he couldn’t quite wrap his left foot around the ball and his effort went well wide of the far left post. 

In the 90th minute, the hosts almost won it at the death. Wythenshawe captain Thomas Killen-Talbot played a great through ball to substitute Keith Kanakulya who was in on goal down the left side, however, Dabbers keeper Mattias Brandt came racing off his line and managed to get a finger on the ball to push Kanakulya away from goal before Brandt got back up onto his feet to make an excellent save to keep the scores level. 

At full time the scores were still level. The teams just could not be separated in the 90 minutes which meant that we headed to the lottery of spot kicks.

After Wythenshawe scored their first penalty it was up to Consterdine to step up and level the scoring, however his penalty crashed off the post which mean that after one penalty each, the scores were 1-0 to the home side. Both sides dispatched their second spot kick to make the scores 2-1 after two penalties each. The Dabbers were once again on the back foot after Killen-Talbot scored the home sides third penalty to maintain their 100% record. The Dabbers third spot kick was taken and unluckily missed by Brandreth. Wythenshawe then scored their fourth penalty to win the game and spark scenes of jubilation for their young players, fans and management staff. 

It was a heartbreaking way to crash out of the cup for the Dabbers. However, their spirit and determination throughout the 90 minutes can make then very proud of their efforts