man of match David Forbes v Nuneaton

A fine second half showing earned Nantwich Town an FA Cup victory over their higher league opponents Nuneaton at Weaver Stadium, writes Ryan Batty.

The Dabbers progressed to the Fourth Qualifying Round in front of nearly 500 fans thanks to goals from David Forbes, Joel Stair and Sean Cooke.

Nantwich had the first chance of the game as a quick cross from the right was just over the head of Forbes.

Just three minutes later, the visitors launched into a quick break, but some fancy footwork wasn’t enough as an under-hit shot was saved by Krystian Burzynski.

After 15 minutes, Nantwich developed a great move down the left, and a last-ditch clearance stopped them from taking the lead.

Dave Cooke’s defence held firm throughout and put their three last games behind them.

A cross from Troy Bourne was whipped in after 20 minutes, and Forbes received the ball in the box.

The ex-City of Liverpool striker almost converted a stunning strike but fired over the bar.

He didn’t have to wait too long before his goal. Just before the half-hour mark, a cross was headed clear to Forbes, who was able to stab the ball home for 1-0.

forbes scores on 28 minutes v Nuneaton

Forbes scores opener

forbes and sean cooke celebrate v nuneaton town

Forbes celebrates with Cooke

Nuneaton were desperate to get back into the game as soon as possible, and were aggressively pushing forward – a test of strength and endurance for the young backline, but they held firm.

Ten minutes before half-time, Matt Bell saw a gap in the defence, and took an audacious shot from 30 yards, which whistled just wide.

Nuneaton forged a neat counter-attack in the final action for the first half, and a cross into the box saw three shots saved, the last of which was saved off the line.

Nantwich opened the second period well, their assured backline keeping the visitors at bay.

On the hour mark, Caspar Hughes won a corner after forcing a block from a Nuneaton defender.

jordan davies for nantwich v nuneaton

Jordan Davies

Bell’s set piece found Toby Mullarkey, whose header was parried by Lyness, but only as far as Stair who doubled The Dabbers’ lead with a powerful header into the top corner.

And just three minutes later, Nantwich netted their third as Harry Clayton took the ball round the keeper and selflessly left it for Cooke to fire home.

Cooke almost got his second when he curled a free-kick over the wall and Lyness saved well with his fingertips.

On 75 minutes, Nantwich suffered a late scare as a Nuneaton free-kick on the edge of the box saw substitute Greg Mills curl the ball around the wall and into the net, leaving Burzynski with no chance.

However, Nantwich stayed strong at 3-1, and continued to look a threat going forward.

Despite five minutes of added time, the hosts were happy to see out the game and progress comfortably to the Fourth Qualifying Round.

The draw takes place tomorrow (Monday October 2).

Nantwich: Burzynski, Bourne (Jones 85’), Morgan, Stair, Mullarkey, Hall (C), Hughes, Bell, Clayton, Cooke, Forbes (Davies 77’). Subs not used: Quinn (GK), McDonald, Brooke, Rowntree, Griggs.

(All pictures by Jonathan White)

troy bourne for nantwich v nuneaton

Troy Bourne

theo stair for nantwich v nuneaton

Theo Stair

steve jones shoots v nuneaton town

Steve Jones

matt bell challenges for nantwich v nuneaton

Matt Bell

harry clayton challenges v nuneaton town

Harry Clayton

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