Matt Bell, nearly won game at Grantham

Nantwich Town earned a hard fought point away at play-off chasing Grantham Town after a 0-0 draw at the South Kesteven Stadium, writes Steve Sharman.

Both sides created chances but were unable to find the net with Matt Bell (pictured) having the Dabbers’ best opportunity late on but saw his effort saved.

Manager Dave Cooke made two changes from the 2-0 home defeat to Matlock Town as Steve Jones and Toby Mullarkey replaced David Forbes and Caspar Hughes.

The game was slow to start as neither side were able to gain a firm grip, although Grantham forward Lee Shaw lofted the ball over the bar after getting in behind the visitors’ defence.

Nantwich winger Joe Mwasile caused the hosts problems with his quick feet and pace, and he nearly created an opening for his side but his low cross fizzed across the face of goal without finding anyone.

The heavy pitch wasn’t helping proceedings as Grantham looked for the long ball over the top on many occasions but never troubled the Dabbers’ backline.

Keeper Myles Boney, who has extended his loan spell with Nantwich to the end of the season, did well to tip Michael Hollingsworth’s low drive around the post.

The second half began in similar fashion, although Boney made another fine save palming Andy Wright’s long range shot around the post.

The Dabbers defence did well to keep Lee Shaw quiet, although the forward put Danny Meadows’ low cross wide of the near post.

A minute later, Harry Clayton went close for Nantwich as he half volleyed over the crossbar, after latching onto Boney’s long kick forward.

Clayton’s neat play down the left then created a good chance for Jones, but the former Northern Ireland man snatched at the chance as he shot wide.

This was Jones’ last action as he was replaced by Jordan Cole, making his return to the side following injury.

Sean Cooke blazed Bell’s well worked free kick over the bar after breaking free of his man before Stair made a fine last ditch tackle to deny Jordan Hempenstall after the Grantham striker had rounded Boney.

As the game entered four minutes of stoppage time, Bell had a great chance to win the game but the midfielder’s low shot was well saved by home keeper Kieran Preston.

The draw sees the Dabbers move up to 13th ahead of their next fixture this Saturday at home to Halesowen Town.

Nantwich Town: Boney, Morgan, Wildin, Stair, Bourne, Mullarkey, Mwasile, Bell (c), Clayton, Cooke, Jones (Cole 64′). Subs not used: Phillips, McDonald, Cotterell, Forbes

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