On Tuesday night the Nantwich Town Youth Team completed a historic double at the club. It’s the first time in the 135-year history that both the First Team and the Youth Team have made the First Round Proper in both the FA Cup and the FA Youth Cup.
After the Nantwich Town First Team overcame King’s Lynn Town on Saturday in the FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round, the Youth Team then secured its place in First Round Proper of the FA Youth Cup, with a 3-2 victory in Extra Time away at Harrogate Railway Athletic on Tuesday night.
The victory follows wins in the previous rounds against Ashton Athletic U18’s in the Second Qualifying Round and FC United of Manchester U18’s in the First Qualifying Round.
Despite the young Dabbers having the edge in the first half, including hitting the woodwork twice, they could not get in front at half time.
The Railway found itself fortunate to still have 11 players when Callum Parker was hauled down when he looked like he was through on goal, only a yellow card was shown to the relief of the hosts.
The Dabbers then went off the rails at the start of the second half and the Railway took an early second half lead.
However, the Dabbers slowly grew back into the game late on, and despite a few good saves from the home keeper, Henry Waterer was on hand to smash home an 87th minute equaliser that took the match to Extra Time for an unbelievable third time in a row.
The Dabbers – with the momentum – took the lead in extra time when they were awarded an early penalty, top goal scorer Callum Parker coolly put the ball away. The Dabbers then extended the lead when a corner was not completely gathered by the Railway Keeper, although Matty Kabyemela and Josh Wrench both claimed the finishing touch, it was a Railway player who was unable to clear the ball as it crept in at the far post.
Callum Parker almost put the game to bed after cutting inside the defender, his powerful curling strike then smashed the cross bar, but could only see it go safe.
Despite the Dabbers having a 2 goal cushion, the hosts were not about to throw the towel in and they showed great resolve when they got a goal back making the last few minutes very nervy. Ollie Hawkins, and his defence had to show great mental strength and maturity to keep out any further goals from the hosts.
The full-time whistle brought great celebrations amongst the Dabbers players, staff, and supporters. But what was pleasing was the great respect shown between the two clubs, our players were warmly congratulated by all the Harrogate Railway parents and club officials, which showed the great spirit that the match was played in despite the huge rewards on offer for the victor.
Steve Parker, Youth Team Coach, said: “We do like to do it the hard way extra time for three rounds in a row! With 0-0 at half time we were unlucky not to go into the break for the better having hit the woodwork twice in the first half.
“Harrogate started the brighter in the second half and took the lead, but Nantwich dug in deep showed great character and equalised with a few minutes remaining to take it to extra time with a goal from Henry Waterer.
“Then a penalty from Callum Parker in the 1st half of extra time and a goal line scramble finished by Josh Wrench saw Nantwich lead 3-1 at half time. Harrogate pulled one back with 5 mins to go but Nantwich held on to win. A trip to Boundary Park to face Oldham Athletic is a wonderful prize for the young Dabbers, it should be a wonderful experience for them all.”
The Dabbers will now travel to face Oldham Athletic U18’s at Boundary Park on Tuesday 29th October – 7.45pm Kick Off for another momentous chapter in the club’s history.
Admissions are £3 across the board. Please see the website and social media channels for more details to follow over the weekend.
Nantwich Town Line Up: Hawkins, Crumpton, Golden, Chevannes, Lloyd-Williams ©, Piperakis (Wrench 85’), Waterer (Fox 117’), Arthur (Kabyemela 80’), Parker, Orsler (Large 65’), Moreton
Subs not used: Jennings, Selby, Brandreth
Goal Scorers: Waterer (87’), Parker (93’ Pen), Own Goal (103’)