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Report: Nantwich Town vs Hanley Town

After Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory at home to Workington AFC in the First Round proper of the FA Trophy, The Dabbers arranged a friendly against Hanley Town so the lads could get some more minutes under their belt ready for the next round. Hanley also have a big cup game of their own as they Travel to Long Eaton in the third round of the FA vase.

The Dabbers started the game excellently as after just six minutes they took the lead. Ollie Pope was making his second appearance for the first team after making his debut last week in a friendly against Winsford United, and when he raced into the box, he took aim but his shot cannoned off the post and fell kindly to Callum Parker who fired home from six yards out.

Our visitors Hanley Town beat the Dabbers in a friendly earlier on in the season so it was clear that they were a threat, they had their first opportunity in the 29th minute when a cross from the left was headed wide by the big number ten who used to height to get to the ball first. Ten minutes later, The Dabbers really should have doubled their lead as substitute Luke Walsh played a perfectly weighted ball through to Joe Mwasile who fired straight at the keeper from just inside the area.

In the 32nd minute, Hanley had another good opportunity on goal as another cross came in, this time from the right side and after a small scramble it fell kindly to Joe Thompson who miss hit his strike as it bobbled wide of the far post.

The Dabbers had two triallists in their side as it was a perfect opportunity for gaffer Dave Cooke to look at some potential new signings. Triallist “A” had a good opportunity to mark his trial game with a goal as he got on the end of another fantastic through ball, however the shot was straight at the keeper who saved well once again. Trialist “A” came close once again as he fired a shot from the left side off the outside of the post and behind for a goal kick.

The Dabbers finished the half with a succession of opportunities, in the 44th minute Callum Saunders raced down the left side before cutting in and firing towards goal, the keeper did well to save, however all he could do was palm it into the path of Luke Walsh whose first time shot crashed off the cross bar before falling back to Walsh who headed home from an offside position.

At half time Dave Cooke would have been satisfied with what he had seen from his side, they had dominated the play and were very unlucky to not be more than one goal ahead after hitting the woodwork on three separate occasions.

As the second got underway, it was a totally different team as Cooke had made eight changes to give all his players a run out. The second half side also included another trialist who looked to impress from the get go as he cut inside from the left and curled a shot towards the far post, however unfortunately for him it clipped the wrong side of the post before going behind for a goal kick.

Luke Walsh was looking very lively as he found Callum Saunders in acres of space and as he cut inside from the left, he fired towards goal, however once again the keeper saved. The rebound fell to Scott McGowan However, he couldn’t get the ball under control as it went behind for a goal kick.

In the 66th minute The Dabbers doubled their lead as David Webb raced down the right side before getting to the by-line and cutting it back for Triallist “B” to fire home from close range to make his trial with a goal.

Three minutes later our visitors pulled a goal back thanks to former Dabber Ricardo Fuller. When the ex-premier league striker picked up the ball in the centre circle there was only one thing on his mind. Dabbers keeper James Hawkins was a few paces off his line so Fuller lifted the ball over him and into the back of the net. To be 41 years old and have still have the ability to produce that type of goal is very impressive, however they do say that you never lose it!!

After getting his first and second goals for the club in what a very impressive performance on Tuesday, Scott McGowan will be full of confidence as he looks to add to his Nantwich Town tally. He almost did this literally seconds after Hanley pulled one back as he got in behind and fired his strike low and hard but the keeper got down very well to save. McGowan came close again as Triallist “B” did well down the right before finding the Nantwich striker, however McGowan’s strike was once again palmed away by the keeper.

In the 80th minute, Fuller saw Hawkins off his line once again and he tried to replicate his goal, however this time the Dabbers keeper was to back track enough to save easily.

As the game fizzled out, the Dabbers deservedly won the match 2-1. It was a good run out for both sides who produced a good game for the brave supporters who had battled the conditions to get their fix of local football.

Next up for The Dabbers is their Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round fixture away at either Witton Albion or Bamber Bridge on Tuesday night. Witton and Bamber Bridge play each other this afternoon.

The Dabbers also announced the signing of Altrincham winger Curtis Miller who joins the club on a youth loan until the 9th January. Dave Cooke gave us his thoughts on the signing “Curtis has looked good when I’ve seen him play, we’re pleased to have him on board and I’m sure he will do very well for us”. Miller has made six substitute appearances so far this season for Alty, he also made an appearance when the sides met in a pre-season friendly earlier this season.

More match photographs are available.