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FA Trophy: Kings Lynn 2 Nantwich Town 1

Optimum Pay Stadium, Nantwich Town Football Club (photo: Jonathan White)

A Josh Barrett goal either side of half time was enough to help Kings Lynn beat a spirited Nantwich Town in the FA Trophy Third Round.

After beating Barwell, Grantham and Whitby The Dabbers were rewarded with a trip to The Walks to face National league side Kings Lynn Town in the Third Round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

The game took a while to get going and the first opportunity of the game came after 10 minutes as a deep cross from Jones was met by Omotayo at the back post but fortunately for The Dabbers he couldn’t keep his header down as it sailed over the bar. Fifteen minutes later, the hosts came inches away from taking the lead. Michael Gyasi was allowed to drive into the Nantwich half and tee up Joshua Barrett who cut inside from the left onto his stronger foot. He took aim and the ball crashed off the top of the bar before being cleared away from danger.

Six minutes later, the hosts deservedly took the lead. Jones sent in another dangerous ball from the right that wasn’t dealt with, and it fell to Barrett who was able to poke home from 12 yards out, giving the keeper no chance.

The Dabbers hadn’t really had a shot in anger all game, they were struggled to get the ball down and string a few passes together to enable them to invade the offensive third of the pitch. However, five minutes after going a goal down they managed to counterattack the hosts and grab an equaliser against the run of play. Tommy Montefiori has really impressed in his last few games and he played an inch perfect through ball for Dan Cockerline who had the presence of mind to lift it over the onrushing Paul Jones to level the scores and grab his sixth goal of what has been a very impressive season for the Nantwich striker.

The only two chances of the first half led to a goal each for both sides. At the break, The Dabbers would have been the happier of the two sides. They were holding their own against opponents who are two levels above themselves and the game was still very much in the balance.

After a very tedious first half, the second period took just three minutes to spring into action. Michael Gyasi went down in the box under a tackle from David Vaughan and the referee immediately pointed to the spot to give the hosts a penalty. Josh Barrett stepped up and fire the ball into the top left corner. Wycherley got a hand to it, but he couldn’t stop it from nestling in the back of the net.

Josh Barrett was causing real issues for The Dabbers and four minutes later he came close again as he shot wide of the far-right post.

In the 66th minute the hosts had a golden opportunity to double their lead as Jones drove down the right side and pulled it back for former Crewe Alex youngster Malachi Linton who fired wide from 10 yards out, he really should have scored and put the game beyond doubt for his side. Four minutes later, Nantwich had their first effort of the game as left back Jacob Edwards cut inside and stuck a powerful effort towards goal, The Linnets keeper saw it late and did well to turn it around the post for a corner.

With 15 minutes to go, the hosts once again came close to adding a third as the dangerous Omotayo drove into the Nantwich box and left fly, his strike cannoned off the underside of the bar before bouncing the right side of the line and Nantwich were able to easily clear to safety. With the clock ticking down. Nantwich bought on Joe Malkin and Shaun Miller to try and find that elusive equaliser. In the 85th minute it was the latter who came close to changing the game as he found space down the left before crossing low towards the near post where Dan Cockerline was, however he couldn’t guide the ball towards the target and it was eventually bundled wide. The resulting corner was met by Bourne who volleyed towards goal from close range, but it was straight at the keeper. If the strike was a meter either side of Paul Jones it probably would have gone in!

The referee blew his whistle to signify the end of the game and despite a valiant performance from Dave Cooke’s side, they just couldn’t come back from Barrett’s penalty at the start of the second half. They can take a lot of positives from their performances over the last two games against National League sides. Hopefully they can now translate these good performances into the league, starting on Tuesday when they host Lancaster City at The Optimum Pay Stadium