FA Cup win at Shepshed - Steve Jones, Nantwich Town v Bamber Bridge

A super second half goal from sub Steve Jones sent Nantwich Town through to the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round against a difficult Shepshed Dynamo side, writes Ryan Batty.

The first half offered little in terms of clear chances for either side, but Dave Cooke’s men turned it up a gear after the interval and came away with a 1-0 win.

Nantwich were under pressure early, as an attack for Shepshed developed on the left-hand side.

But a powerful effort from Shay Brennan was saved by Krystian Burzynski.

The Dabbers’ stopper then made a second great save soon after as he tipped over Liam Hurst’s shot from outside the box.

Nantwich’s first chance came in the ninth minute, as Ryan Brooke was on the end of a quick break.

But a good effort was saved by Shane Antcliffe in the Dynamo goal.

Seventeen minutes in, Josh Hill spotted Burzynski off his line and decided to attempt an ambitious effort from inside his own half which was very close to dipping in.

Shepshed were a fast-paced unit reliant on high pressure football, but Cooke’s men were well-trained and able to deal with the threat.

Harry Clayton had a fantastic solo effort after half an hour, and it looked like the ex-Kidsgrove forward had been brought down in the box, but the referee’s assistant indicated the forward had handled the ball.

The home side were close to taking the lead when Burzynski rushed out to clear the ball bu was chipped by Brennan.

The ball bounced in front of the goal but over the bar.

Nantwich had another chance on the verge of half-time, as the ball was squared across goal to Brooke, but he was unlucky not to get the shot away.

Five minutes into the second half, Clayton rolled the ball towards Caspar Hughes, whose shot flew over.

Ten minutes later, the Dabbers had a free-kick on the right-hand side of goal, and it was a move straight from the training ground.

Hughes played it low and driven to Clayton on the edge of the box. His resulting shot was just off-target.

After an hour, the hosts were reduced to ten men as Hill hauled down Jordan Davies who was clean through.

The referee had little choice but to send the Dynamo off.

Davies’ resulting free kick hit the wall and was cleared.

There was a chance for Nantwich with 20 minutes to go as Bell saw a gap in the defence on the edge of the Shepshed area.

But his shot took a deflection and went straight into the arms of Dynamo keeper Antcliffe.

Cooke made his first change of the game as Steve Jones replaced Davies.

Jones almost made an instant impact as a powerful shot was only just tipped over by Antcliffe.

Then Jones struck the decisive blow as he curled a strike into the top-right hand corner in the 75th minute.

With five minutes to go, Nantwich launched a counter-attack that found Clayton speeding towards goal but his shot was turned round the post by Antcliffe.

The hosts piled on the pressure late on with long balls but the Dabbers’ defence held firm.

Hurst had Dynamo’s final chance in stoppage time as he cut in from the right hand side but saw his low shot trickle wide.

Nantwich progress to the Third Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for the second season in a row, and the draw is made at 1pm on Monday.

The Dabbers return to league action on Tuesday as they travel to Hednesford, before returning to the Weaver Stadium for a clash with Ashton.

Nantwich: Burzynski, Bourne, Morgan, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall (C), Hughes, Bell, Clayton, Brooke (McDonald 81′), Davies (S. Jones 70′). Subs not used: Cadman (GK), Forbes, Webster, Rowntree, Cotterell

(pic by Jonathan White)

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