New signings shine in The Dabbers final Pre-Season fixture
In what was a very eventful match, Nantwich found a way to overcome the visitors, in front of a good crowd at the Optimum Pay Stadium.
With the crowd turning up to see what the new star signing in Shaun Miller could do, as well as the addition of Cameron Terry as goalkeeper, action was hoped for at both ends.
It didn’t start off as planned however, as Chester took control, and passed the ball around very well. And they even had the first shot of the game, thankfully Johnson shot over the bar, but that was indeed a warning for the Dabbers that the needed to heed. From there, the pressure was on the home side, as Chester continued to probe away, just without that final killer last ball.
Declan Weeks for Chester had the next attempt, thankfully it wasn’t on target, before an outrageous attempt by Sean Cooke, who tried to score from a very long way out, unfortunately for the home side, and the fans in attendance, it just went wide of of Louis Gray’s goal, otherwise, we would have been talking about that goal, for a very long time to come!
This seemed to spark the Dabbers into life howver, as from there the next opportunity fell to Casper Hughes, who was very unlucky to see his first time shot go just agonisingly wide of the goal. From there, the craziness started, as Nantwich took the lead in the 26th minute, via a wonderful bit of play, Callum Saunders had the ball down the left hand side, before putting in a wonderful cross for the new signing Shaun Miller to poke home at the back post, what a start to life in the Dabbers shirt!
A brilliant way to mark your debut in front of your new fans, but he wasn’t finished yet, and neither were Chester, as they scored almost instantly, with James Hardy found space down by the right hand side, and he found a way to put a cross in, and Anthony Dudley, was on the spot, to fire home an equaliser.
The tables had been well and truly turned now, with the away side on top, all in the space of about five minutes, as Dudley very nearly doubled Chester’s tally, as he hit base of the post. All of this was before the half time whistle, at which Nantwich were very happy to hear it when it did come, but not before some half chances for the home side from Miller and a Cooke free-kick.
Into the second half, and the chances kept on coming for both sides, first of all Chester as new signing Terry pulled off a wonder save from a George Waring header, then in what was a wonderfully worked opportunity Troy Bourne did very well to find Saunders in acres of space, only to have his volley creep just wide of the far post.
Then we were witness to a wonderful goal to give Nantwich the lead once again, Stair, who had come on for Bourne, had a fantastic 30 yard shot that came off of the inside of the Chester post, and who was in the right place, at the right time, yes indeed, new signing, Shaun Miller, to poke home the rebound, a wonderful way to mark a home debut! He is going to be a supporter’s favourite that is for sure.
Chester soon managed to level the scores once again however, via Weeks who was found by Hardy to very calmly roll it passed Terry to make it 2-2. The chances were not done just yet for both sides though, as the home side thought that they had retaken the lead once again, but Miller playing the assister this time for Stair to just head the ball wide. But then in the 81st minute, it did happen for Nantwich, they did take the lead, and this one did go in, as a Cooke free kick was headed in by Stair to the delight of the home crowd. This seemed to galvanise the visitors to try to get on level terms once again though, as from there, Dan Stevenson cut in from the right hand side and shot, but Terry was there to thankfully tip it round the post for a corner.
Then from one new signing playing his part in the day’s proceedings to another, as Chester were awarded a penalty due to some really good dribbling in the Nantwich box by substitute Tude Oyibo, before he was brought down, giving the referee no option but to point towards the spot two minutes before the 90th minute. Anthony Dudley took it, looking for his second goal of the afternoon, but as the rain came down hard, so did the pressure on him, as Terry produced a wonderful save, low down to his left to stop him from scoring.
From there, Nantwich managed to see out the game, and pick up a really good win on the day, and a really useful run out for Dave Cooke ahead of the new season starting next week.
The Dabbers kick off their Northern Premier League Premier Division campaign on Saturday as they host Stalybridge Celtic at the Optimum Pay Stadium at 15:00. Tickets for the game can be purchased from the clubs website