Article: Adam Bateman
Photographs: Jonathan White
After a hard-fought draw in their previous game, away to Lancaster, Nantwich were looking to secure all three points in this the first home game of the new season at the Swansway Stadium, in front of their home fans.
Manager Dave Cooke decided to stick with the same side that had done so very well in the Lancaster game.
The sun was just beginning to set as the teams kicked off, and it was Warrington Rylands through Andy Scarisbrick who was the first player to have a shot on goal, thankfully, his shot went over the bar, but it was a warning sign that they had not come to play second fiddle. This was most evident when in the sixth minute, Callum Dolan picked up the ball on the left hand side, and drove into a central position, and hit a shot that curled right into Luis Gray’s top right hand corner, to give the visitors a deserved lead.
From there both sides had opportunities, but neither side found the target on too many occasions, despite the best efforts of David Webb, & Dolan again for Warrington, and the very lively Sean Cooke for the Dabbers. Cooke was having a particularly very effective game, but neither side could add to the goal tally as the half time whistle went, and Warrington went in the more happy, having a one goal lead.
The second half started with a bang, as the home side got right back into the game, with a free-kick that only Sean Cooke could have scored, a beautiful top corner effort that had the home faithful jumping for joy, after only about 10 minutes had elapsed. Soon after, there was a lovely team move by the Dabbers in which Sean Cooke was on the end of, to slot home past the former Nantwich player, Sam Tickle, to give the home side the lead for the first time in the game.
After this the game became a bit of a war of attrition, as both sides looked to firmly take control of it. After about 70 minutes, Warrington forced a corner, a rare venture into the Nantwich half at that time of the game, and after a bit of scramble, Kane Drummond managed to grab an equaliser, against the run of play, and then sides were all square once again.
That wouldn’t be for too long however, well numerically anyway, as for the second game in a row, Nantwich had a player sent off, this time it was Jon Moran as he tugged the shirt of Kane Drummond, thus stopping him having a clean run through to goal, and he got his marching orders.
From the resulting free-kick, David Webb almost emulates Sean Cooke, and put the visitors ahead, but his attempt hit the bar, and bounced safely away from the goal.
That sending off changed the pattern of the game, as Nantwich became more cautious, looking to strike on the counter, and with Joe Robbins, they almost did just that, but his shot went just wide.
Despite both sides attempting to find a winner, the game finished as a draw, as both managers can draw positives from that, in front of a crowd of 436.
Nantwich next play at home to Guiseley on the 20th August.
Joel Stair (C)
AJ Leitch-Smith (Joe Mwasile 88’)
Dan Cockerline (Jack Sherratt 88’)
Joel Grant (Connor Heath 74’)
Subs not used:
Josh Langley (C)