Article: Jack Berresford
Nantwich Town manager Dave Cooke said his team “did the basics right and looked a much better team all round” as his side halted their losing streak by drawing 0-0 away at Mickleover.
The Dabbers had lost 5 out of 6 games going into Tuesday nights fixture so they were looking for a change of fortunes as they made the trip to a wet and windy Don Ammot Arena.
The hosts began the game on the front foot and they had the first opportunity of the game after Joel Stair was caught in possession. Andy Dales drove towards goal before squaring to Stuart Beavon who was unmarked in the left side of the box, but the former football league striker’s curling effort was well saved by Cameron Terry In the Nantwich goal
When talking about his sides change of fortunes, Cooke said “We needed to try and get back on track and I thought tonight, after some bad results. The team showed up all game and if anything, we had the better of the chances”
The Dabbers first chance of the game came just after the half hour mark when Nantwich captain, Caspar Hughes lead the counter attack as he ran the length of the pitch before getting into the Mickleover box and shooting straight at the hosts keeper. Five minutes later Sean Cooke had a good opportunity as took two players out the game by stylishly Cruyff-turning on the edge of the box before his left footed shot flew over the bar.
At the break, The game was goalless and neither side had really deserved to be in the lead.
Three minutes after the restart , Theo Stair who was leading the line for The Dabbers to give them more height and power going forward, had a good opportunity as he turned on the edge of the box before scuffing his shot straight at the keeper. “Theo is a good footballer, with a clever brain” Said Cooke “we asked him to look after the ball and that’s exactly what he did”
James Lawrie was also back in the Nantwich starting XI after a brief absence and he had the best opportunity of the game as he intercepted a poor back pass, However Callum Hawkins came charging off his line and he was able to close down the former Port Vale man before he could get his shot away.
The Dabbers were looking much better than they had in recent weeks and the change of system really seemed to help them both defensively and offensively. “We wanted to shut things off down the sides, We have conceded some really poor goals in recent games but I thought we were good down both sides tonight and it gave us a nice platform to build on.
With fiteen minutes to go, James Lawrie came very close to opening the scoring, Sean Cooke’s deep free kick was met by Joel Stair who headed back across goal to Lawrie who had no time to adjust his body before he headed over from six yards out.
With five minutes to go, there was almost late heartbreak for Nantwich as a cross from the right was met by substitute Andrew Wright who headed wide of Cameron Terry’s goal.
A relatively chanceless game came to an end with both sides having to settle for a point, Dave Cooke said “if anything I thought we had the better of the chances, but full credit to them (Mickleover), they play good football and I thought it was a good advert of the league.
Attention now turns to Saturdays FA Cup Second Qualifying Round fixture against Southern League Premier Division side Banbury United at the Optimum Pay Stadium