Article: Adam Bateman
On a day when Nanwich were looking to extend their recent good fortune and good form, they came to a stadium and a team who were very much determined to put that to the test, and in front of a packed and noisy home crowd, the Dabbers knew from the moment that they arrived that this wasn’t going to be an easy game.
Right from the kick off FC United looked to put the pressure on the Nantwich defence, and that is the way the game went for the majority of the first half, with shot after shot coming towards Matthew Gould’s net.
Nantwich were penned back, and the only respite came when they put the ball in the back of the net, but it was sadly ruled out for an offiside decision in the thirty seventh minute.
In the first half alone FC United had 8 shots, with half of them testing the visitors goalkeeper, who was in determined fashion to not let a goal in.
Nantiwich were very much on the back foot, as evidenced by the fact that they didn’t even get a corner in the first half, it was very much back to the walls defending, but defend they did, and very well, and they managed to reach half time with the score still 0-0, and that was a credit to the whole team, it was very much a team effort to restrict the home side.
As the teams came out for the second half, the pattern was still very much the same, FC United attacking, and Nantwich defending, but slowly, the game was changing, and then the big moment of the match happened, FC United got a corner, it was put into the box and Regan Linney headed it in, to the great delight of most of the people in the stadium, and for a fleeting few moments, Nantwich found themselves behind, but the referee blew his whistle, not to signify a goal being given, but for a foul by Linney on a Nantwich defender, and a huge relief went throughout the away team, amid a very loud chorus of boos by the home team’s fans.
From there, Nantwich seemed to realise that they had to wake up, and they did just a few minutes later, as Daniel Cockerline pounced on some hesitation in the homes sides defence, and slotted past Lavercombe in the home net, to silence the home crowd, who were stunned to find their team behind after all of their attacking intent.
Only a few more minutes later, it would be even worse for the home side, as Nantwich got a second goal via the penalty spot, as Cooke powered his shot high into the back of the net, and the away fans at the ground, of which there was a healthy amount, went crazy!
There was still more defending to be done, as the home side continued their assault on the away goalmouth, and there as an almighty goalmouth scramble late on, and as the figures showed, FC United had 17 shots to Nantwich’s 5, but at the end of the game, it was the accuracy that counted, and another clean sheet meant that the Dabbers came away with the full three points.
Jay Bateman who was in charge whilst Dave Cooke was serving his suspension can be rightly proud of the effort that his team put in on the day.