Article: Liam Price
Photographs: Peter Robinson
South Shields came away with the win at the Swansway Stadium as they defeated Nantwich Town by a goal to nil.
Joel Stair was back in the defence after missing Tuesday’s game at FC United, while Jack Sherratt and AJ Leitch-Smith also came into the starting XI.
Dan Cockerline received a cross that he wasn’t expecting, the ball hitting him rather than him hitting it and spinning into the hands of Myles Boney.
There was a lengthy stoppage as Gary Liddle needed treatment on a large cut after a clash of heads. This led to seven minutes of stoppage time at the end of the half.
Troy Bourne, voted Dabbers man of the match on the day, made a great challenge to stop Joao Gomez-Carrington from breaking into the box.
After that, the Dabbers had a couple of chances to score, the first a nice move between Cockerline, Sean Cooke and Joel Grant, who broke into the box only for Boney to close him down well.
Then, Cooke had a decent try from distance that dropped just wide.
South Shields had been quiet, but struck on 35 minutes. Good movement from Lewis Alessandra opened up space for a cross, Dillon Morse’s header was well saved by Louis Gray but Michael Woods was there to tuck in the rebound for his fourth goal in as many games.
Joe Robbins blasted over and Cooke had an effort deflected away as the Dabbers tried to respond, but the visitors went into the break ahead.
In the second half, the trademark Dabbers low corner almost paid off, Cooke sweeping towards goal but it was cut out by the mass of Shields bodies who were defending their goal.
Joel Grant, probably the Dabbers most consistent attacking threat during the game (pictured below), cut in from the left and put in a great cross, it was a great defensive header from Morse who inspected it all the way and kept it off the head of Cockerline who was lurking behind him.
Another clash of heads saw Woods forced off and meant another seven minutes of time added on, before Gomez-Carrington and sub Robert Briggs both threatened to double the lead with chances that were cut out by Nantwich.
Shields blocking Dabbers efforts was becoming one of the stories of the game, Cooke saw another stopped and a Caspar Hughes cross was also touched away from the Nantwich men charging in.
A late Dabbers cross was fumbled by Boney but no one in a green shirt was gambling on that mistake being made. And that frustration would remain as the full time whistle blew and another narrow game against top opposition just didn’t go the Dabbers’ way.
Nantwich Town: Louis Gray, Caspar Hughes (Jacob Edwards, 85), Perry Bircumshaw, Joel Stair (C), Troy Bourne, Jack Sherratt, AJ Leitch-Smith, Joe Robbins, Dan Cockerline (Connor Heath, 80), Sean Cooke, Joel Grant (Joe Mwasile, 80)
Subs not used: Jon Moran, Alfonso Castellano
South Shields: Myles Boney, Josh Doherty, Blair Adams (C), Gary Liddle, Dillon Morse, Conor Newton, Dylan Mottley-Henry (Mackenzie Heaney, 43), Michael Woods (Robert Briggs, 63), Lewis Alessandra (Sam Hodgson, 90+3), Martin Smith, Joao Gomez-Carrington
Subs not used: Will McGowan, Jack Bodenham
Goal: Woods (35)