Connah’s Quay Nomads 3 Nantwich Town 3

Article: Jack Beresford

Goals from Sean Cooke, Dan Cockerline and an own goal earned The Dabbers a hard-fought draw in their second game in Wales in four days.

After comfortably beating Caernarfon on Saturday, The Dabbers faced another Cymru Premier side in Connah’s Quay Nomads at The Deeside Stadium.

It didn’t take the hosts long to grab the opener.  A long ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by The Dabbers and it fell to Harry Franklin who shifted it onto his right foot and curled an exquisite strike into the far right corner to give his side the lead after just five minutes.

The Dabbers almost replied instantly as Sean Cooke played AJ Leitch-Smith inbehind and as the former Crewe man got into the box, he took aim but dragged his shot wide of the goal.

In the 18th minute the hosts doubled their lead in rather fortuitous fashion. Aron Williams did well down the right side to get to the byline and fire a low cross across the face of goal. Unfortunately for The Dabbers it was turned home by defender Jon Moran who didn’t know much about it.

In the 24th minute, Dan Cockerline and AJ Leitch-Smith linked up well before the latter blazed over from the edge of the area. The Dabbers were piling on the pressure and they came close once again as Robbins took aim from range but the keeper acrobatically tipped the strike over the bar. 

In the 40th minute, The Dabbers’ persistence finally paid off as Sean Cooke pulled a goal back. New signing Joel Grant did well down the left side to beat his man and then cut inside and find Leitch-Smith. He cut inside on his right foot before reversing a pass into the path of Sean Cooke who calmly fired him to halve the deficit.

On the stroke of half time, The hosts restored their two goal deficit as Aron Williams drove into the box before firing past Louis Gray to give his side a 3-1 lead at the break.

Within 10 minutes of the resumption, The Dabbers had scored a second goal. Joel Stair did well down the right side before crossing low across the box and it was diverted home by a Connah’s Quay defender who poked the ball into his own goal. 

Five minutes later, The scores were almost level. The Dabbers had a free kick inside the centre circle and Sean Cooke spotted the keeper off his line, but his audacious effort was saved well by the backtracking keeper. 

In the 69th minute The Dabbers levelled the scores as Dan Cockerline got up highest to head home a corner to grab himself another Pre-Season goal and level the scores on the night. 

With 20 minutes to go, neither side really looked like scoring and the game eventually fizzled out before the referee ended the game with the scores at 3-3.

Next up for The Dabbers is a trip to Hanley Town on Friday night. Before a final pre-season run-out against Leek Town on Saturday 6th August. Dave Cooke’s side play their first league game on Saturday 13th August as they visit Lancaster City.