Sandbach United v Nantwich - Aaron Hassall eyes the ball

Nantwich Town fans were left disappointed to see the Dabbers stutter to their first pre-season defeat away at Sandbach United, writes Ryan Batty.

Despite taking the lead from the penalty spot, Nantwich’s defensive frailties were exposed and allowed the hosts to fight back and win.

Nantwich made changes from the Rhyl victory as Clayton McDonald made his first start, playing as a target man.

The backline was reshuffled to see Alex Lingard play at left-back, Jamie Morgan at right-back and Joel Stair and Keaton Webster in the heart of the defence.

Nantwich started brightly, as Jordan Davies tested the Sandbach goalkeeper.

A Toby Mullarkey free-kick went straight into the wall and Sandbach started a quick counter-attack, but Spiess easily saved a weak effort.

Kieran Evans then smashed an effort against the post from twenty yards in the 22nd minute, and a few minutes later the Dabbers were ahead.

McDonald had to take the spot-kick twice, the successful effort sending the keeper the wrong way.

Clayton McDonald scores a penalty

Sandbach were not behind for long.

A minute after the restart, some clever work in midfield unlocked the defence.

Spiess came racing off his line but the attacker thread the ball past the German goalkeeper to level the score.

The hosts then took the lead when a driven ball found the same attacker who added his second with a fine side-footed finish.

McDonald had a header just over before the break a Nantwich trailed 2-1 at half-time.

Dave Cooke made changes for the second period, including Krystian Burzynski in goal, and the Dabbers began to dominate.

Sandbach United fight for the ball

A Nantwich Trialist shot narrowly wide was barely wide of the Sandbach post, before a Joel Stair header from a corner bounced down but agonisingly over the bar.

A volley from the edge of the box almost extended Sandbach’s lead as it hit the bar and deflected over.

Troy Bourne then crossed for Harry Clayton, whose effort was also just over the bar.

Clayton drove forward again and unleashed a powerful drive which was brilliantly tipped over.

The Dabbers dominated the last ten minutes, but Toby Mullarkey’s 25-yard effort was scooped up easily by the goalkeeper.

Nantwich huffed and puffed but could not find an equaliser as the forwards lacked the clinical finishing of recent matches.

(pictures by Jonathan White)

Sandbach player wins the ball from Clayton McDonald

Harry Clayton eyes the ball

Nantwich Town management

Sandbach United v Nantwich Town - aerial shot

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