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By Ashley Houghton
Nantwich Town boss Jimmy Quinn says consistency is key to reach the playoffs after a fine 1-1 away draw at table-topping Chester FC.

Michael Lennon gave the Dabbers the lead but ex-Crewe Alex midfielder Antoni Sarcevic levelled two minutes later.

The game was played in front of a club record crowd of 3,560 at the Exacta Stadium – Chester FC’s largest ever attendance.

Now the Nantwich boss wants to see a prolonged run of results from his side in a second half push towards the top five.

Quinn said: “On the back of the win against Stafford and the draw here I am going to encourage the lads to keep that consistency up and hopefully we can get near the playoffs.

“In this league anybody can beat anybody and it’s only side’s like Chester, who are very consistent, who stand out.”

Chester had the better of the play and Nantwich were thankful to keeper Jon Brain who pulled off a string of fine saves.

Matty McNeil was the first to force a save from the ex-Port Vale and Macclesfield stopper, his shot on 14 minutes was well saved by Brain before Sarcevic smashed the rebound against the crossbar.

Chances were few and far between for the Dabbers but Dave MacPherson twice shot wide. The midfielder also fed Ben Mills which caused confusion between Chester’s Michael Taylor and goalkeeper John Danby with the defender nearly poking into his own goal.

The save of the match came on the stroke of half time as the lively Sarcevic broke down the left and fed through Jerome Wright.

His powerful eight yard strike looked destined for the top left corner but Brain managed to get a hand on the ball to push wide.

Nantwich took the lead just after half time. Good interplay between Mills and substitute Aleksandrs Solovjovs created space for Lennon to work his way into the area and slide the ball into Danby’s bottom left hand corner.

The lead lasted only two minutes as ex-Port Vale midfielder Christian Smith pumped the ball down the left hand side to Sarcevic who skipped to the edge of the area and rifled home a right footed drive into the top corner.

Both sides had late chances to win with Chester throwing everything at Nantwich. Michael Powell went closest as he struck the post with his 25 yard strike.

The Dabbers may have nicked in stoppage time as Niall Maguire first forced a save from Danby and then Mills headed wide from Tom Urwin’s cross.

Quinn praised his defence’s character in the closing stages.

“The disappointing thing was that they went up the other end and scored which put us on the back foot again,” he said.

“But I thought the lads showed a lot of character. I thought Jon Brain, Darren Moss and Mat Bailey were outstanding as there isn’t going to be many sides that come away from here with something.”

Nantwich: Brain, Lowe, Foster (Solovjovs, 45), MacPherson, Bailey, Moss, Cooke (Urwin, 76), Flynn © (Maguire, 56), Mills, Lennon, McDonald. Subs: Wakefield, Jack.

Chester: Danby, Brownhill, Smith, Horan, Taylor, Brown, Wright (Simm, 81), Powell, McNeil (Wilde, 62), Sarcevic, Booth (Ormrod, 72). Subs: Duggan, Judge.

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