Article: Jack Beresford
Nantwich Town Head Coach Gary Taylor-Fletcher felt like this side were “by far the better team” as they lost 1-0 at table-toppers Hyde United.
The Dabbers made the trip to Hyde United who had won their last 5 games so it was never going to be easy, but Taylor-Fletcher had high praise for his sides performance “I thought we were by far the better team, they probably had a 3-4 minute spell and that’s what cost us. We’re not far off, they are top of the league and for me personally I felt like we were the better team, I thought there was only one team in it who was going to score”
The Dabbers started the brighter of the two teams as Connor Heath burst down the left side and took aim from inside the box, However it was straight at Ugandan International goalkeeper, Gio Bellagambi.
Truth be told, the game took a while to get going and the next opportunity came after 20 minutes when the hosts rattled the upright. Liam Tongue broke down the right side and go the byline before teeing up Bradley Holmes who strikes the post before it goes behind for a goalkick.
Five minutes later, The Dabbers had a golden opportunity to take the lead as Sean Lawton did well to win the ball back on halfway before driving into the box and teeing up Leitch-Smith who dragged his shot side of the post from 12 yards out.
You could argue that Nantwich were the better side in the first half and they came close again as Heath drove into the box and took aim but Bellagambi was once again on hand to save well and palm it behind for a corner. From the resulting corner, Hyde broke and it was 3 against 1 with Sean Lawton the only Dabbers player behind the ball. Adam Dawson drove with the ball into the offensive half before finding Pratt who took a touch and fired straight at Louis Gray from the right side of the box.
At the break, the deadlock was yet to be broken, and The Dabbers looked the more likely of the sides to take the lead
Much like the first half, the second half took a while to get going and Hyde had the first half chance as Tom Pratt forced a good low save from Gray.
Four minutes later, Nantwich had their first effort of the half when Jamie Menagh picked up the ball on halfway and fired wide rom the edge of the area. Menagh was making his debut for Nantwich after joining from Lower Breck on the day of the game and his performance was praised by Gary Taylor-Fletcher “We wanted a leader, someone who would organise and talk and I knew that’s what Jamie would bring. For him to come in and play like that, get into the lads and organise and you could see straight away that it raised the lads, game them that extra 10%”
On the hour, The Dabbers had the best chance of the game. Jack Sherratt found himself in space down the right side and he crossed to Leitch-Smith who managed to bring the ball down and fire low into the corner, but somehow Bellagambi managed to claw it off the line before it was cleared away.
As the game went on Nantwich were looking comfortable and the more likely side to take the lead. However, in the 83rd minute one little error cost The Dabbers. Hyde we’re keeping the ball well down the right side and then a missed tackle from Bircumshaw allowed Pratt to get in behind down the right side before he set it back to Adam Dawson who slotted home into the bottom corner to give the hosts the lead against the run of play.
Hyde could have doubled their lead moments later as Pratt found unmarked substitute Eddie Brown in the box but his close range header was wide of the mark.
In the 92nd minute, Connor Heath had a chance to steal a point in final seconds of the game as he got into the box down the right side before taking aim from an acute angle, but it was straight at the keeper who pulled off another excellent save to keep The Dabbers at bay
The game ended 1-0 to the hosts and they make it six wins in a row to send them top of the league. For The Dabbers it meant back-to-back defeats. However, there were much more positive signs and certainly things to build on
After the game Taylor-Fletcher said “The lads are gutted, we’ve put the work rate and effort in, we’ve dominated the game, had chance after chance, but again in both boxes that’s where it counts, and we’ve made one bad decision that’s cost us”
Next up for Nantwich is a trip to Derbyshire to face Matlock Town on Saturday 1st October